Friday is my husband's weekly day off and our "date day". I've been cough, cough, coughing this week due to the bronchial bug that's been going around, so staying in my pajamas all day and watching old movies sounded like an ideal date day to me. My husband, on the other hand, felt like taking a drive, so I kept my thoughts to myself, got cleaned up and dressed, grabbed my camera and settled into the passenger seat of the car.
The drive itself was actually relaxing. We drove north into Washington state, through my husband's home town, south back over the bridge into Oregon, and west toward the coast.
When we reached the northwest tip of Oregon where the Columbia River dumps into the sea, we headed south on highway 101 and stopped for a late lunch in Seaside. After enjoying some delicious seafood, and cup after cup of hot tea on my part, my husband drove to a parking spot by the sea, thinking I could just relax and enjoy the view. He should know me better than that. A walk by the sea is irresistible to me. I put on my jacket and knit hat and grabbed my camera and away I went.
It's been a tough week. Via the news we have been bombarded with grief upon grief. Across the world the blood of the martyrs was shed on a beach in Libya. Here in our own Pacific Northwest, the headlines tell of influential pastors compromising on things which, in my opinion, are Biblical non-negotiables. My daughter sent her dad a text message mourning that she is has to raise her children in the midst of what she called, "the Christian chaos". She is heartsick that her generation of ministry leaders are afraid to say that "Jesus' love is wide, but His ways are narrow". I mourn because I know that for that statement alone, she/we are marked as judgmental and unloving. I mourn that because our current culture feels that God must have not meant what He said because it feels too harsh or too narrow to us, we think we can just move the plumbline of the Word and get away with it. It makes as little sense to me as it would if you were to ask me the way to Seattle from my house in Portland and instead of saying, "Go north on I-205, then merge onto I-5 and continue north", I said, "Well, if you are just sincere you will find the way." When Jesus says that He is the Only Way, when God says that there are things we do that bring life, and there are things we do that bring brokenness and death, it's no more mean and cruel for me to lovingly tell you the truth than it is for me to tell you that there is one clear way to Seattle. It IS the way whether you or I like it or not or whether it feels good to us or not. For me to hem and haw and refuse to tell you the truth is what's cruel. For me to be unclear and ambiguous while you wander around in confusion is what's cruel. (Side note: I looked up the definition of the word ambiguous to make sure I was using it in proper context. Here is what the online dictionary said, "unclear or inexact because a choice between alternatives has not been made." "this whole society is morally ambiguous") That is my point exactly. This week twenty-one martyrs gave their lives with the name of Jesus on their lips because the choice was clear to them.
All of this was in my mind as I walked. An hour later I got back to the car feeling like that walk was exactly what the doctor ordered. I'm not so sure it was beneficial physically, but it definitely was spiritually and emotionally, I felt the fragmented pieces of my troubled soul being knit back into wholeness. I choose to place my trust in the Creator God who made the sea. He is still in control, even in the midst of what seems so chaotic, just as He is in control of the tides and the waves.
Also happily linking up with the lovely Lisha Epperson.