Summer this year seemed to go on a long time. But, about a month ago we felt it would be the last warm weekend so we (me, my daughter Lucy and my husband) packed the car and headed down to the coast. I love being near the sea but I especially love being in it. I love the light bouncing off the waves and the feeling of being supported in the water. The picture above is from that day and it was very calm but even on a day like this there is a slight sense of danger. There was a strong ebb tide which was pulling Lucy away from the coast. With a few strong strokes she came back in again but I am always aware of the possible dangers.
For me the sea is like a living parable. It is so deep, so full of life, so strong. Like God it is constantly changing, like Him it is always there. Of course the parable is not perfect. We should let the currents of God’s spirit take us where He wants us to go, not swim against them.
I did this picture on holiday in the summer. I felt very free and light and this is the feeling of being in the waves with the sunlight sparkling through. It was done with hot wax sprayed on with a hair dryer. The wax goes everywhere and is pretty hard to control.
Many of the stories in the Gospels (and in Acts) are set in or around water. Even though the apostles were experienced boatmen they were not always in control either. Storms came up and the fish headed for the other side of the sea. A few years ago I swam across St Paul’s Bay in Malta (on a calm morning, not in a storm) and it felt really special to make that connection with the story in Acts.
The Jews had a good sense of the connection between the physical and spiritual that maybe we have lost. Not everyone can swim well but most of us can walk or run. Maybe we need to take God out of church sometimes and feel the wind on our faces.