We drive to the beach to let our children see the ocean. Watching the sea creates that moment of awe I want them to experience; that sublime encounter when nature overpowers their imagination ushers in worship and joy.
Behold the great ocean!
We splash in the waves, dig in the sand, and collect shells. My oldest daughter and I venture out past the breakers into deep waters. Could there be sharks? Well, yes. Could there be jellyfish? Well, yes. Will giant waves crash against me? Well, yes.
In the midst of all the questions and real fears, we look down towards our feet and notice the sparkle of unbroken seashells scattered on the ocean floor. Here, they don't endure the assault of the waves. Here, they stay intact and beautiful.
My daughter runs to get a bucket and comes back out into the ocean. She picks up seashells--with her feet--and builds a collection of treasures from the deep.
When I find myself in deep waters--amid real fears and assaults--I remember to build my collection of treasures from the deep. Certain gifts can only come from this deep and dangerous place.
Have you read Anne Morrow Lindbergh's Gift from the Sea? I haven't read this for 20 years, so I'm going back to the library to find it. Has the ocean taught you anything in particular?