Two days before we left for our family vacation I twisted my foot into a black and blue throbbing mess. I was walking with Bonnie who, in one of her fits of stubbornness, slipped out of her collar and began to run away from me. In a panic, I moved my foot the wrong way and felt the sickening pull of soft tissue fold over an unyielding scaffold of bone. I spent the afternoon with my foot elevated and iced. The next morning found me in the emergency room waiting for an x-ray.
We were relieved to find it wasn’t broken but when I asked the white coat about activity level (“I’ve always heard it’s good to walk on a sprain, right?”) he said “no.” “You need to stay off of that foot as much as possible. And keep it up when you can.”
This would change my seaside experience considerably. The sea has always been a thin place for me—the place the noise in my head quiets enough to hear the tender endearments God whispers every day, unheard. Each morning we awaken by the ocean, I rise before the others and wait for the sun to rise and then fall into the blue of the sea. I write the names of the people I love in the sand and pray for them as long tidal fingers wash clean my scratchings. Then I comb the beach for shell surprises, walking freely in the soft light of morning, studying all that mother ocean leaves behind as she pulls with the moon.
I began to grieve the loss of this time before we even began our journey south. Sitting on the couch with my foot above my heart, I whined to my boys, “I won’t be able to have my morning beach walks!” They both sat down beside me, wrapped their arms around me and each other and said, “I’m sorry, mom.”
And the mood was set. A different kind of thin place. A slower, softer listening—and finding God in the faces of others. We had so many God-sightings. Amazing how that happens when I slow enough to look. And toward the end of the week I was able to walk some short distances without too much discomfort. Blessings upon blessings. An ocean full of gifts.
It’s a shame it all has to be interrupted by the need for shoes.
Every Monday I share one of my Playdates with God. I would love to hear about yours. It can be anything: outside, quiet time. Maybe it’s solitary. Maybe it’s loud and crowded. Just find God and know joy. Click on the button below to add your link. I try to visit a few of your stories every week, so if you are a new visitor, be sure to let me know in the comments so I can welcome you. Grab my button at the bottom of the page and join us.