Small Oceans

Redondo Beach, CA  I was about 6

I’ve been thinking and learning a lot about trust these last few weeks because of a book about Sabbath I’m reading, ‘God in the Yard’ by Laura Barkat. 

Not because the book has anything to do with trust, but because readers are encourged to take time to listen for God in the small, quiet spaces of our days.

It’s in the listening that I’ve uncovered or discovered, maybe begun to re-cover pieces of my childhood.

I have no idea where the discoveries will lead, but I’m finding in the act of setting aside weekly time to just BE with God outside, to look, rest, be open–that this form, the act of making room–is allowing for the discovery.

Throughout her writing Laura Barkat weaves in the challenges of children from families of alcohol and divorce, homes where trust issues, loss and leaving are all a part of growing up.  She shares her own personal struggles and the words resonate with me–my family was like that.

I’ve seen how I carried my defenses and behaviours, my attitudes and fears about trust and authority into my grown up-ness and into my marriage.  Not in a good way.

What led to this revelation? Making a space, small at first, for God to drop in His light.

Here is an illustration from writer Gertrud Nelson, cited by Barkat:

“These children (at the seashore) did not have the wherewithal to jump straight into the ocean,
 vast and powerful as it is. In fact, they barely wanted to stick their toes in the water.  
So they stayed in the sand and dug a hole, a potential water container on a much smaller scale.
In time they saw fit to begin coming and going to the larger body of water, 
carrying back a bucket at a time to fill their mini-ocean.

Says Nelson, “In endless space we create a fixed point to orient ourselves: a sacred space….
What is too vast and shapeless, we deal with in smaller, manageable pieces…
we turn our backs on what is too much and 
slowly create the form that will contain the uncontainable.”

Form then, not discipline, per se becomes the buffer and the 
eventual conduit between the individual and the Divine, 
between the child and the ocean, between you and me and the sky.”**

God is speaking to me, revealing things to me, not because of any discipline or ‘have-to’s’ or shoulds on my part but simply because I’ve created a conduit, a container, a small place for Him to start to pour healing in.

As I said, I have no idea where this will lead, but He is a faithful, kind Father whose greatest joy is to bring me into healing and freedom.

I’m looking forward to the journey…….with my bucket and shovel in hand.

**From Week 5 of “God in the Yard–Sky: Gratitude”

Linking with Jen and the Soli Sisters and with Jennifer for Story Time

7 thoughts on “Small Oceans

  1. WOW – faithfulness! I was thinking this morning about how God just wanted me more than anything else. Not the I could's, I shouldn't and I will's — but just me — plain and simple. I sure love our God.


  2. Thank you for inviting us to your party, to celebrate with you as you open your gifts of freedom, healing, and hope. I feel honored to sit beside you and enjoy vicariously your joy in discovery.


  3. Glad the book is working so well for you- let's set up a play date with our buckets and spades? New Zealand or your beach?
    Many blessings- good to read how you are getting on.
    Since you prayed for me- I have been able to listen ever so much more easily- the effective prayer or the righteous, huh?


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