Sunday, December 30, 2007

In the Waters

I love water. I love water in so many ways. I love to drink it and be in it and be near it…pretty much me + water = happy love time. That’s why I love to spend my free time at the lake. I don’t care if I have company or not, being near the water cheers me up almost every time. I love to take walks by the lake or sit on a rock/log overlooking the water or dip my toes in or throw some rocks in or climb on the cliffs or sit on the beach or…or swim! I love being in the water. I find water soothing and calming. Water gives me warm fuzzies. I could stay in the water forever…if I didn’t get tired and pruney and stuff. In fact, generally, when I’m swimming at the lake, there gets to be a point where I float on my back for an extended period of time. I love it because I love feeling the water surrounding me and filling my ears with its delicious music. I generally don’t like to taste the lake water, but that’s another story altogether. That’s also why I love bubble baths…even more than long, hot showers. I love to linger in the water and let it surround me. Plus, I generally have God time when I’m in the water. I do a lot of praying in the lake. God and I talk while I’m at the lake because I’m relaxed and I feel close to Him. So, we swim and walk and climb and talk. Similarly, most of my Bible reading gets done either in the bathtub or while I’m listening to my ocean CD. For some reason, in my mind, God and water go hand in hand. That’s why when I read my friend’s blog about fog a week ago, I couldn’t stop thinking about swimming. He compared the fog to the Holy Spirit, as it surrounds you and the view in front of you is limited in varying degrees. As I drove through the fog the next day, though I loved pondering my friend’s insights, I couldn’t dwell on them for long. Not because they aren’t amazing because they really are. It’s really more because I think of fog in a different way. As I drove, I was frustrated by the fact that I was in the car and not in the fog itself. It seemed like I was wasting a deliciously foggy day riding in the car when I should have been on a walk or sitting on a bench or something (now, you should understand I feel similarly about rain and sun). I think this way about fog because on foggy days, the air is thick and almost clings to you. It’s like swimming except the water is just vapor, making it thinner and easier to get through…plus, you’re less likely to drown. I just love how it surrounds you, though. It reminds me of the times I spend floating in the lake because the fog covers you like a blanket. The best part is that it’s a blanket you can’t escape from. So, of course, as I think about the fog, I think about the lake and my love of water (and apparently water vapor). I know that my feelings about fog and water are the same because they are both something I love to linger in. I don’t know if I can put into words why the fog and the water are so dear to me and how they make me feel so close to my God, but they do…every time. It could be because we are reborn through water and the Holy Spirit at baptism. I remember my pastor telling me once that he often ponders his baptism when he washes his face in the morning. I do occasionally think of baptism while I’m in the water. I think about immersion and how I’m washing away the stress of the day and the dirt of the day and how I’ve been washed clean by Jesus’s precious blood. I can’t say that’s the most common thought, though. I really think it has more to do with feeling God’s love. I marvel at water all the time, though I don’t know why. I can’t help but find beauty in it. I admire the beauty of the water itself as well as the way it moves. I admire the force of the water, whether that force is being used to generate electricity or wearing away at rock or beating on the sand. I admire its strength and persistence. The thing I love most about the water, though, is the way it surrounds me, the way I can linger and rest in it, the way I am able to be in it and move with it. I see God’s love in much the same way, which may be why I feel so close to God when I’m at the water’s edge. I believe God’s love to be beautiful and strong and active. I love the way He surrounds me with it, wraps me in it. I love the way it moves me with it while also warming me and surrounding me like a blanket…except both the water and God’s love are blankets I can’t control…they are tangible, yet I can’t grasp them and manipulate them in any truly productive way. They continue to surround me no matter what. Also, neither one every truly leaves me. I mean, most of my body is made up of water…and I was made in God’s image to love others as He has loved me. Besides, they both seem to call to me…I can’t stand to be away. There’s a part of me that I find in the water…and in God’s love. My soul yearns for God’s love just as my body yearns to taste and touch water. Oh, to bathe in it forever!

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