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Further Along My Passage

June 2015

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Flying Geese on a Foggy Day (birds winter ). Photo by nen    

Last month I returned once more to the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  I walked the seashore between Duck and Corolla, pondering my previous journeys there and the many other places around the globe that had me immersed in thought on or near the great oceans.  Henry Beston, in his essay The Headlong Wave describes the immeasurable wonder of seas and seashore best:  

“The seas are the heart’s blood of the earth.  Plucked up and kneaded by the sun and the moon, the tides are systole and diastole of earth’s veins.  The rhythm of waves beats in the sea like a pulse in living flesh.  It is pure force, forever embodying itself in a succession of watery shapes which vanish on its passing….Consider the marvel of what we see.  Somewhere in ocean, perhaps a thousand miles and more from this beach, the pulse beat of earth liberates a vibration, an ocean wave.  Is the original force circular, I wonder, and do ocean waves ring out from the creative beat as they do on a quiet surface broken by a stone?  Are there, perhaps, ocean circles so great and so intricate that they are unperceived?  Once created, the wave or the arc of a wave begins its journey through the sea.  Countless variations precede it, countless vibrations follow after.  It breaks, dissolves, and is gone. The innermost waters it last inhabited flow back in marbled foam to become a body to another beat, and to be again flung down.  So it goes night and day, and will go till the secret heart of the earth strikes out its slow beat and the last wave dissolves upon the last forsaken shore.”

 In the framework! (Spring architecture city+skyline mountains sky trees ). Photo by Wanda1948    

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.         2 Corinthians 4:7

Mt. Rainier and Crystal Lake (clouds snow mountains trees water ). Photo by kippic     Mt. Ranier and Chrystal Lake - Summer, 2015

Rumbling continuously through my thoughts all the past month has been this poetic truth that Paul wrote to the Corinthians…”We have this treasure in jars of clay.”  The treasure he speaks of is the incredible priceless gift of life.  That any of us made it into this sphere we call “life” is so grand a miracle that none has fully comprehended its full meaning.  We catch a glimpse of this splendid treasure in rare moments when we see love demonstrated in acts of kindness, when another is acknowledged or rewarded for work well done, when artists have given back to the world their talent and very best, and when we gather to hear a eulogy for a sojourner worthy of their footprint on the earth.  It is then that we fully comprehend Paul’s metaphor “pot of clay”, the brevity of our time, and the fragile container that holds the treasure.  Growing older, beset by the reality of spent youth and vigor, we marvel at the accuracy of Paul’s metaphor, a pot of clay having served as a vulnerable but temporary reservoir.  Then we read again Jesus’ promise to His disciples: “Because I live, you also shall live.”  Life here and life Eternal!   Kneeling there in gratitude, we worship.

Summer meadow after rain (rain Summer flowers ). Photo by TanyaMass     Summer Meadow

When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle thee.  For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour.  (Isaiah 43: 2-3)