At high noon, she embraced the water with sheer delight. A snapshot of joy beneath the vast Michigan sky, she waltzed with the waves and shimmied with the splashing blue.Her brothers and sisters echoed Little one's pleasure. With less drama and more daring, they dove into the white-capped rush and let the rolling water lift their surrendered bodies. In the pirouette before the plunge, they soared. And squealed. Joy rose wild and noisy with the waves.
The entire afternoon was a wet and wild jamboree. A hoe down of sunshine and splatters, giggles and glee.
In time, tummies growled and weary legs buckled. We packed up our towels and beach chairs, dug for flip flops long buried in the sand, and headed for home.
At sunset, we returned, barefooted and expectant. The glowing orb of fire began to sink, its murky orange fingers grasping for one last chance to waltz above the water. We listened as the sing-song slap of water upon sand crescendoed into a thunderous drum roll. Lake Michigan shed her sapphire skirt and slipped into a suit of daunting gray. The afternoon's waves transformed from flirting friend to shifty stranger. Toes treaded cautiously.
The churning waves stood tall and bowed. Straight and bent. Rise and fall. My lake-dancers curtseyed at water's edge. They eyed the horizon with unspeakable awe. Scanned the endless blue. Skipped over foam and froth.
The wind beckoned limber legs to race. Frolicking feet accepted the challenge.
Little one, however, backed away.
She clung to my knees and covered her ears. When I wrapped my arms about her trembling body, she nestled her curls against my neck and said, "Let's go home."
"Look," I urged, as I pointed to the horizon. "It's pretty."
"No!" she hollered above the clamoring waves. "It's scary. It's scary."
The wind plummeted across the water and lifted a thousand grains of sand into a slapping swirl.
Little one covered her eyes and cried, "Let's go home, Mommy. Let's go home."
We turned our backs to the beauty and climbed the wooden steps to the dune's peak. It's frightening to come face to face with wild beauty. Hallowed and Horrible. Mortifying and Marvelous.
The more I fall in love with Jesus, the more I understand. I could dance forever in the arms of the Good Shepherd, but am tempted to run and hide when I hear the Lion of Judah roar. I'm drawn to His mercy but humbled by His strength. Warmed by His compassion but chilled by His justice.
C.S. Lewis suggests that this very paradox is what makes Heaven's King irresistible. Lewis's classic tales of Narnia unwittingly capture Christ's wild beauty. In one of my favorite scenes in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, Aslan rises from death after having been slain in place of a wayward child. Lucy, the youngest of the visiting children witnesses the unexpected resurrection and immediately joins the King in a celebratory frolic.
Laughing, though she didn't know why, Lucy scrambled.. to reach him... A mad chase began. Round and round the hilltop he led them, now hopelessly out of their reach, now letting them almost catch his tail, now diving between them, now tossing them in the air with his huge and beautifully velveted paws and catching them again, and now stopping unexpectedly so that all three of them rolled over together in a happy laughing heap of fur and arms and legs. It was such a romp as no one has ever had except in Narnia; and whether it was more like playing with a thunderstorm or playing with a kitten Lucy could never make up her mind..."
Little one and I huddled on the deck and watched as slippery silhouettes muted into shifting shadows. The sun hurtled one last flame of brilliance across the velvet sky and Little one lifted her hoodied head to savor the fiery streak.
"Pretty," she murmured as I drew her close to my heart.
On the beach below, my water dancers played with a thunderstorm in the gathering dark. And I listened carefully for the faint footsteps of a kitten crossing the sand.
the Overflow: The voice of the Lord echoes above the sea.The God of glory thunders.The Lord thunders over the mighty sea.The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is majestic.
-Psalm 29:3 & 4