Sitting oceanside on this exquisite Sunday morning, it almost feels like I am attending church in this beautiful place. In my estimation it is prettier than any cathedral. Today there are no distractions. No cute little babies sitting in the pew in front of me, no standing, kneeling, sitting in repetition. Just me in my beach chair with my open Bible app on my phone and a receptive heart seeking all that He has for me.
So Ecclesiastes came to mind and I decided to look it up. This well known verse from chapter 3 came up (verses 2-8 ) and it seems so fitting for my blog post this week.
Ecclesiastes 3:2-8. NIV
2 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
A couple of days ago we took our grandson to the beach for some fun in the hot sun. As we set up our beach umbrella and all of our gear I noticed a woman sitting in a beach chair near us. Her lavender bathing suit caught my eye and I paid her a compliment. She smiled. So later on I struck up conversation ( I always do.. ha ha) and asked her about the paperback book that she was reading. She was reading some military themed fiction and although she told me it was pretty good, she wasn’t too convincing. So out of the blue I told her that I had written and published a book. ( Geeze, I’m so bold with whom and what I share, but I guess that it’s just part of who I’ve become). So as she asked me what the book was about and I told her, she shared with me that she had suddenly lost her husband a week ago. It was certainly a time for a hug. Even though we were random strangers we were both members of a greater family as part of God’s family as descendants of Adam and Eve. We both understood significant sorrow. My new acquaintance seemed not to mind my hug. As we chatted we discovered that we knew some of the same people even though she resides in Florida and me in Western Mass. I actually knew her brother who lives a few doors down from the place where we vacation. It is amazing to see how we truly all are connected.
Anyway, I decided to gift my new friend a copy of “Wish You A Goode Journey” and I headed to my car to get it. As I flip flopped through the hot sand something caught my eye. A fluttering monarch just beyond my reach. This, my Godwink, followed me as I treked through the sand. Really…A monarch on the beach? A blessed reminder that my girl is always with me as is God.
Anne, my newest friend thanked me for the book and told me that she was an artist. She mentioned that she was thinking it might be a time for painting. Yes! I thought, a perfect time for painting! I find when emotionally charged, creativity is at its best! . Anne went to her car and retrieved her water colors while we watched her stuff.
The day played out and we fed the meter several times as we stayed later than Bob and I had originally planned. Our grandson was a fish in that frigid ocean water! It was just a time for relaxation and rejuvenation. The ocean always does that for us.
A few hours later, my new friend appeared at our umbrella and presented me with one of her sweet paintings.
It’s title: “Something Fishy”. What a treasure! I exclaimed, as it will be perfect in Makenzie’s room now turned into an office. The walls now a cheerful yellow, the painting will be a happy addition.
Please check out her website to see all her beautiful work.
Below is the watercolor she created while we were at the beach.
Decided to share this piece (below) , in memory and honor of Anne’s husband Billl and my dear ole dad “Moe” who was a sailor for the U.S. Navy. It just seemed fitting to add this to my seashore blog post.
Gone From My Sight by: Henry VanDyke
I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side,
spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts
for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck
of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.
Then, someone at my side says, “There, she is gone.”
Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast,
hull and spar as she was when she left my side.
And, she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.
Her diminished size is in me — not in her.
And, just at the moment when someone says, “There, she is gone,”
there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices
ready to take up the glad shout, “Here she comes!”
And that is dying...
There is most definitely a time for every season under heaven. Thank God we have been given the blessing of this perspective and that beautiful verse from Ecclesiastes.