Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Silence Between The Waves

I remember standing on the wet, cold sand of Ocean City one early July morning of my thirteenth summer. The beach was empty except for the crabs hiding in their sandy holes, their locations revealed by a telltale bubble when the waves drew back from the beach.
The sea looked friendly enough. The sea was a liar. One moment I was swimming on her foamy breast and the next I was upside down in her green sucking undertow. 

Those who live with the ocean hear the crashing of the waves as do those of us who only visit. What those intimate with her hear also is the silence between the waves. In those moments of silence the ocean is gathering strength to birth the next onslaught. We hear the crash, we capture the curls on film or canvas but the power of her silence is invisible to the uninitiated and can be mistaken for weakness, even safety, or be missed entirely.

The ocean drew back from the shore at high tide and it drew me deeper into her great lungs. What was silent above was noisy and urgent below. I was caught in the sea's powerful assembly line where every sound was amplified and every movement insistent.

I very nearly drowned that morning before being slammed back onto the beach with a nose full of salt water and a bathing suit full of sand and rocks.

There are moments in my life when my ocean is full of swells and curls and flying foam. But my heart lives between the waves in the silence that prays and listens then bears down to push.  When the ocean is "quiet" she recovers her strength to go on. To move things from one shore to the next. To patiently wear away great rocks. To be drawn up into the clouds and make rain. To change her world. She is at her most robust when she seems to be only holding her breath.

Let it be so in the year that has arrived on our shore. May we welcome the gathering strength of the silence between its waves. May we welcome the One who whispers between the breakers, who set limits upon the great bodies of water but who promised us unlimited resources to accomplish the loving ends of His precious Kingdom.

May that Kingdom come to us in the year ahead. May it inspire and anoint our diverse beaches. May it reveal the deep things of God to us. May it baptize anew our every hope. May its eloquent silences be sought after.

May we welcome prayer with new hospitality.

I wish you all a joyous and loving New Year.


No one’s ever seen or heard anything like this, Never so much as imagined anything quite like it—What God has arranged for those who love him. But you’ve seen and heard it because God by his Spirit has brought it all out into the open before you. The Spirit, not content to flit around on the surface, dives into the depths of God, and brings out what God planned all along. Who ever knows what you’re thinking and planning except you yourself? The same with God—except that he not only knows what he’s thinking, but he lets us in on it. God offers a full report on the gifts of life and salvation that he is giving us. 1 Corinthians 2 (Message)


  1. I've always loved the ocean especially when I was diving; I would sit quietly on the bottom - it was so peaceful and serene - the waves crashing above - like my life in Christ. waves crashing in on the surface but the peaceful serenity of his love engulfing me beneath the surface. "what God has arranged for those who love him". Can't wait! New years blessings, dear friend.

    1. You were in better shape than I. I got pounded.

  2. *"Spirit lead me where my feet could never wander, and my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior..." (who is there between the waves). I loved this post. Thank you. -K

    *Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) by Hillsong United