It’s been one of those weeks. I’ve been tired, scattered, and more emotional than I like to be. Nothing horrible has befallen me, just my body and mind reminding me just how human I am. Seeking a still moment with God has felt like a unicorn search. It’s a good day to reflect on the sweet ways God has shown me he hears me.
Baptized in the ocean on a cool foggy morning in Pensacola, I walked out of the water soaked and salty. Three dolphins swam along the shoreline, like a kiss on the forehead from God to me. Now, whenever I visit the beach I can’t help but look for dolphins, though I almost never see them.
Ten years later, at the conclusion of a weekend trip to St. Augustine with a couple of friends, I snuggled Levi (my six month old stowaway) in the carrier and took a final walk before I had to pack up and go.
The atmosphere, identical to the day I was baptized, took me back in time. It was quiet and foggy. I absorbed the warmth from the coffee cup in my hand. Maybe a handful of people strolled the wide, flat coastline. As I stepped off the boardwalk between the condo and the beach, I said to God, “I would really like to see a dolphin today.”
It wasn’t a “serious” beseeching prayer. It was a comment to a friend. I walked to the water’s edge nuzzling the top of napping Levi’s head, his sweet baby scent mixing with the salty air. I stared across the calm expanse, searching for a fin breaking the water.
Nothing emerged from the lapping waves. I paused a moment more weighing which way I wanted to walk, and turned left. There was an incredible peace in the air that wound its way through my soul. I continually looked over the water, sure a dolphin would appear.
After a while, I started focusing closer in, on the warm salt water lapping at my feet. I watched the sand suck out from under my toes, and searched for little shells and stones washed in by the waves.
I lifted my eyes from the shallows, and watched the few people scattered far and wide walking the sand. The piping plovers alternated chasing and being chased by the waves while they searched for breakfast. I wanted to walk forever, letting the mild salty air brush my hair back behind me, but my time was short. I had to get back to the condo to pack.
All of a sudden a guy appears riding a bicycle slowly beside me. If he got ahead of me he would circle around, and come back. I had enjoyed my solitude, and this interloper wore on my nerves quick. Go away! There is an entire empty beach. Why don’t you move on?
After another minute I look at the guy. He wasn’t looking at me. He was looking at the ocean. I followed his gaze.
Keeping pace with me as I strolled down the beach, a dolphin swam. My smile was so big my cheeks ached.
It was such a sweet moment. With this gift God said to me, “I hear you. I always hear you, from the broken prayers on your knees to the passing comments you make through the day.”
I am wholly convinced that God cares about us, from the big earth shattering moments to the little things that make us smile. We human beings ask God for a lot of things, and many times feel like our prayers bounce of the ceiling of Earth’s atmosphere. I wonder how many answers we miss because we ask God to send a dolphin, and focus on the shore?
Sure, I looked at the water for a while, but there was so much to see. If it hadn’t been for the annoying guy on the bike, seeing from a different perspective, I would have never noticed the gift God sent. What if the disruptions, the setbacks, the failures, the hurt are there to give us the eyes to see the very thing we asked for in the first place?
Share a sweet way God gets your attention!