It’s not chemo week this week. Instead, it’s beach week!
I hope to chronicle a different kind of week, from a different view, from North Carolina instead of Ohio, from beach towels instead of hospital sheets.
This is grace.
I’m here for the 6th time with my college homehurch. 6th! Wow. A trip we take annually, along with other homechurches, bringing close to now 2,000 college students to the beach for a week of fellowship, devotionals, relating, resting, reflecting, enjoying the gift of the ocean, the waves, the sand.
Shortly after arriving yesterday, the Kendra, Marah, Shelly and I walk down our beach houses’ porch/boardwalk to the beach. Hello ocean. Hello sand. We meet again for a week!
I start walking as we re-make acquaintances with the waves.
It’s silly, but I offer a small prayer-request to find a piece of coral as I’m walking. And, no joke, within less than 5 minutes of walking, I bend down to pick up something that I was unsure of at first what it is.
I laugh as I pick up and realize that it’s coral, and not just one piece, but two! They are beautiful, the size of my palm, both are reaching and stretching outward and up towards the heavens to give praise. Elegant coral-praise. The artistry of the sea, the creativity of His hand amazes me. I’m a child receiving a gift of coral from my Father the Artist. I look at them now, my coral-reminders, reminding me that indeed He does listen and He has a giving heart, even in the small things that He knows will bring us joy.
And even though today is rainy and the winds are the strongest I have ever seen and the waves are rising, rising, my gratitude is rising, rising.
I’m at the beach instead of at the hospital, receiving love instead of chemo.
Gifts of grace, gifts of grace!