14 years old, messy sandy hair, about to open a door,
Coming home not from the tumble of waves
But from a passionate Jesus speech I’d heard at a new hang out spot: church.
That day my face was salty wet, not from the sea, but from an Ocean and freshly soaked soul.
My brown eyes had seen a new royal blue, a depth of love I’d never paddled out into before.
I heard Jesus, somewhere, breathe through the universe he created, speaking as King:
“Friend, I love you. Draw close.”
Walking across the same threshold my father had carried me across as a newborn,
I found myself telling my folks: “I just started to follow Jesus.”
I’m 31 now, but I have still only just begun.
It’s a daily Ocean salty thing.
I love Jesus. I love people.
Actually, it’s more like “I try to” and often fail, fall and find a way,
The Jesus-way: Be forgiven and forgive.
Some of my mess-ups only Jesus hears, some my friends Greg, Eric or you hear.
Then there are blunders like today. That anyone may hear.
My mistake started by catching the wrong kind of wave.
I questioned a Pharisee today.
I found myself on sharp religious rocks, stoned from below,
His response like stones that bruise and accuse with every throw.
Life became suddenly, momentarily dry.
Washed up, I began to see that I’d jumped onto a freak wave,
A religiously vocal wave, that would take me nowhere.
I called out to God from my troubled state asking why a religious leader could say such unhelpful things.
And, thankfully my friends, surfing nearby, heard my heart cry.
Juan, my Ocean shepherd friend, lifted me up:
“As a surfer you know which waves to catch.
Choose the wave that will take you somewhere and let the rest go.”
Carl, a Jesus grace surf coach, also encouraged me with the proverb:
“Don’t confront a fool who doesn’t ask for help,” as this is “in itself foolish.”
Today as I surfaced for fresh air, I realized a few precious things truly matter.
I’m starting to see those sparkling rare sets approaching again:
Following Jesus, loving people.
I’ll keep on catching those two waves.
When I slip off, I’ll paddle back out, avoiding the shallows and the dry painful rocks.