Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sunrise Skinny Dip

I had the privilege to rise early and walk the beach while on family vacation. I was supposed to go with a friend, but found myself walking with the Lord instead. What started out as lonely became intimate; one on one time with God. I walked and walked, led on by praise and worship music. On that almost deserted beach, I sang out loud and praised the Creator of this most majestic beginning of days. The sun slowly rose over the ocean and I sang and walked basking in the glory of the sunrise. Guided by the music, I loved Him and lifted my hands towards heaven, becoming refreshed and closer to Him with every step. I prayed over those who passed me and watched in wonder as the houses that stood as sentries to this new day glowed, seemingly from within, with the brilliance of the sun's rising. With fiery red and pink and glowing gold, they shown with the glory of the Lord, reflecting what they were simply witness to.

The Lord showed me that I, too, am such a witness. Simply a house on the hill overlooking the vast expanse of ocean, watching, waiting, for the Son's rise. Able only to reflect what is shone upon me and lighted gloriously from within by all that is radiated from the rising of this new dawn. His mercies are new every morning, and we are the temples of the Living God. Houses on the beach, the place where land and water meet like the temporariness of this life and the ongoing expanse of eternity. It is on this ridge, this place of interaction and relationship, that we stand as witnesses to His great new mercies. Lord, may we reflect your Glory with unmasked brilliance and see ourselves as simple as transparent glass.

Onward I walked until it was time to turn around and retrace my steps. Walking now, back toward my family and loved ones, towards interactions with the world and those in it. Returning with the brightness of the sunrise reflecting in my heart. I praised Him and prayed that He would go with me. Lord, give me new eyes, holy words and thoughts. Back I walk, wishing I could only walk towards Him and not have to return. Return I must, but thankfully I go with a heart filled with the joy of praising Him with both heart and voice. Something remains, lingers in my heart, though. Something, a lesson, is missing... what is it...?

I walk back, encountering more people as the morning matures. A couple that passed me in the other direction earlier is long ahead of me. I see them now, in the water, frolicking with reckless abandon. They are giddy with refreshment and free in their play. They are enjoying a morning swim curiously more than normal. The man rises up and dives into the water exposing his nakedness. Startled, I look away and laugh! How childlike and exuberant. How funny and free! Eyes averted, I look down the beach and notice a pile of what looks like, rags. Here's my lesson, THANK YOU, LORD! They've left their clothes behind.

I leave, on this beach, with this new dawn, my own filthy rags of deeds and self. I bathe instead in Your glory and righteousness, Lord. May I walk onward, towards those you have placed in my life. Returning freshly washed, bathed in joy and praise and intimacy with the Creator. The author of this day and of each of us. Our stories written like waves on the shore. Tide lines, marked and remarked with each new day. Lord, may I sparkle with droplets of saltwater. May I be decidedly different after spending time with You, Father. May I leave my filthy rags on the beach and return renewed and refreshed, clothed in righteousness! What a skinny dip! And how fun.
Eph 4:22

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;

Eph 4:23

to be made new in the attitude of your minds;

Eph 4:24

and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Jam 1:21 So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the message God has planted in your hearts, for it is strong enough to save your souls.

May we each remember to daily skinny dip in the pleasure of Your presence Lord. May we come naked, laying aside all that may come between our communion so that nothing may separate us. And may we return refreshed with the taste of saltwater dripping from our lips, in our hair, running down our bodies, and with sand freshly between our toes. May there be no part of us that is not touched by You. For it is not in our own understanding, but in Your power, for Your glory, that we are transformed into Your image. Thank you, Jesus.

With all the love You have given me today and everyday, Amen.