More Than the Grains of Sand…

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That’s me on the beach this morning, intrigued with the sand and water in South Beach, Miami. Right. Well, maybe I looked like this a few years ago. But my husband and I did walk on the beach this morning at sunrise, and it was glorious.

Well, he ran on the beach and I walked. Really I resisted just sitting close to the lapping waves and “thinking” or “contemplating” or “pondering” the sea and light and sand, until I at least broke a sweat. (I need so much more time to think than he does.) 

Then I allowed myself the luxury of sitting and drinking in the morning glory on the seashore. For a few moments, the sea swallowed me with her ancient rhythm, luring me to her depths, her beginnings, her treasures, her history, her mystique and mystery. 

The constancy of the washing waves cleared the muddle pressing my life.

The rolling water purged the cobwebs–defragmented a splintered soul. 

It is amazing to me that sometimes, even in marriage, I still feel lonely. I am sure all married people feel this way occasionally. Even in the blending of two hearts, there is no one that genuinely understands me–all the complicated layers–the simple parts–the confliction–the dark crying out for light–the weeping–the rejoicing. No one.

Even with my relationship with God, there is a loneliness and restlessness that grips my soul sometimes. I am sure God created this vacuum to drive me to greater fulfillment in Him. And perhaps this depth should urge me to give out to others more. This is a beautiful aspect of God’s ironic kingdom–the fact that we find ourselves when we give ourselves sacrificially to others. There is great reward in selflessness. And I need to experience more of it.

All these thoughts on the beach today reminded me of Psalm 139. In my desire to be understood, these precious words came to me.

 1 O LORD, you have searched me
       and you know me.

 2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
       you perceive my thoughts from afar.

 3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
       you are familiar with all my ways.

 4 Before a word is on my tongue
       you know it completely, O LORD.

 5 You hem me in-behind and before;
       you have laid your hand upon me.

 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
       too lofty for me to attain.

 7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
       Where can I flee from your presence?

 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
       if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
       if I settle on the far side of the sea,

 10 even there your hand will guide me,
       your right hand will hold me fast.

 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
       and the light become night around me,”

 12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
       the night will shine like the day,
       for darkness is as light to you.

 13 For you created my inmost being;
       you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
       your works are wonderful,
       I know that full well.

 15 My frame was not hidden from you
       when I was made in the secret place.
       When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

 16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
       All the days ordained for me
       were written in your book
       before one of them came to be.

 17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
       How vast is the sum of them!

 18 Were I to count them,
       they would outnumber the grains of sand.
       When I awake,
       I am still with you.

 19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God!
       Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!

 20 They speak of you with evil intent;
       your adversaries misuse your name.

 21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD,
       and abhor those who rise up against you?

 22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
       I count them my enemies.

 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
       test me and know my anxious thoughts.

 24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
       and lead me in the way everlasting.

Here I am sitting on the beach, with the light sparkling on the water and billions of grains of white sand all around me, at my feet. I am stretching to comprehend the depth and breadth of a God whose thoughts toward me outnumber the grains of sand on the shoreline.

It is too deep for me, too overwhelming, too beautiful. I can’t wrap my mind or heart around it. I can only believe it with faith and settle into it.

I am restless until I rest in Him.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. lamar howell says:

    Bonnie
    I couldn’t sleep and came in and read your poem. I’m glad you put to words what we are all afraid to share – our loneliness. Sometimes I feel so bold before king or pauper; other times I feel that I would pay someone to be my friend.

  2. Tara says:

    Once again, Bonnie, you blow us away with your transparent confessions. Thanks for allowing us inside ….

  3. Bonnie says:

    Lamar,

    Nice to hear from you. I know what you mean about being bold one minute and self doubting the next.

    Everyone suffers from loneliness. I don’t think it is unspiritual. It is what drives us to our knees and our dependency on God.

    Always enjoy hearing from you, Lamar.

    Bonnie

  4. Bonnie says:

    Hey Tara,

    Well, I am a poet. I am entitled to a little edgy, unconvential, crazy expression.

    Thanks for the comment.

    btw, who doesn’t have lonely spells from time to time?

    Bonnie

  5. Kristin says:

    I like the pic of you at the beach. 🙂 I really liked this blog; I’ve heard one other person say it was a surprise that you can still be lonely after marriage. Isn’t that what most singles long to escape—loneliness? And we think marriage is the antidote. I guess it’s good to know now that my husband will not cure that within me completely—something so deep and complicated within only He who searches the spirits can reach and touch that void.

  6. Bonnie says:

    Kristin,

    You are so right. In fact, I have never been lonelier since I have been married, or more fulfilled and happy as a couple as well. Life is strange. But bottom line, we are to find our moorings in God and Him alone.

    Marriage, in all of its glorious companionship, is not an antidote for loneliness or anything for that matter.

    I believe that happy people are happier married, and unhappy people are unhappier in marriage. Everyone must find happiness alone.

    Bonnie

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