Sunday, March 31, 2013

And he departed from our sight that we might return to our heart, and there find Him. For He departed, and behold, He is here. ~St Augustine

(Originally posted April 9, 2011)
 "Some keep the Sabbath going to Church, I keep it staying at Home - With a bobolink for a Chorister, And an Orchard, for a Dome." ~Emily Dickinson

The moon & Orion's Belt to the right


I was talking to a fellow fossil hunter on the beach the other day. The conversation had turned toward the existence of God. He confessed to me that he was not religious.  I smiled at him and said "Me neither". I spread my arms out as if to embrace the amazing blue sky we were standing under -  "This is my church" I said. 

 Now I do have a local church  that I am a member of.  I call them my tribe. My tribe knows me well enough that if I lead a prayer meeting it won't be inside the building. It will be outside under a huge oak tree on our property. I am also prone to prayer walk-abouts.  I have a beach fellowship and our patron saint is St. Sharks Tooth & St. Arbuck's. There is something about sharing some time on the beach with friends, listening to the waves, and soaking up some sun that builds friendships. I'm into relationship not religion.  I think most people like the fossil hunter I was talking to don't have a problem with the existence of God.  They just don't get some of the people that say they know Him. 

I guess because Easter is upon us I've been thinking  alot lately about Jesus living in a town on the Sea of Galilee. I bet He took tons of beach walks. I wonder what kind of shells He picked up? Probably calico scallops.  I wonder as He was looking up at the sky at night if He pointed out constellations to His friends.  "Look Guys, there's Orion.  See the 3 stars in the belt. Wait till you find out what that means." It was on the beach 40 years ago sitting under a star-filled sky that I had my first God encounter.  My heart was just suddenly overwhelmed  with the beauty of creation and somewhere deep inside myself I just knew that I knew that I knew.


 After 40 years I know enough about Theology to be dangerous. Over the years I've listened to preachers & teachers. My hobby is studying early Church history.   I've read all the latest books on how to know God till my head has been swimming in information. I always go back to that starry night on the beach 40 years ago.  My heart always knows God in a way my head can not.  It's pretty simple really. The famous Sermon on the Mount that Jesus taught in His huge outdoor cathedral on the side of a mountain overlooking the sea 2,000 years ago can be summed up in 4 words. Love God - Love people.  Works for me.


(Credit: www.turtlejournal.com) 
A sand dollar shell looks sort of like a round white coin, which is where it gets its name





The skeleton of a Crucifix Catfish
 Sciades proops 
(Valenciennes, 1840)
Scallop shell, stained glass, St Andrew's Church, Chelmondiston, Suffolk. The scallop shell is the symbol of St James the Great, one of the Twelve Apostles of Christ. Christian pilgrims in Jerusalem collected scallop shells as souvenirs.



4 comments:

  1. That's exactly it for me, too. I know that I know that I know. I can't put into words what I know, but I know that it is enough. And for sure, Orion and the beach are the bestest places on earth to be sure of it all.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The most important thing is that "we know." Happy Easter Karen. xo

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've been following your blog for quite some time but have never commented...but I wanted to say how awesome this entry was! Thanks for sharing all of your shelling adventures (and then some) with us.

    ReplyDelete

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.