Because we never had a honeymoon, Dave and I semi-planned to take a trip to Alaska to celebrate our 20th anniversary. But the closer we got to June, the more obstacles jumped between us and that plan. So we did the next best thing. We headed to Cannon Beach, Oregon.
Three days and two nights isn't really a vacation, but if you plan it right and you get in just the right amount of boardwalk time, look in enough windows, taste enough taffy, order enough fish & chips, and spend a full afternoon staring at the ocean, you feel like you've been gone a week. And that's what we did.
I learned several things on this trip. I learned that jalapeno saltwater taffy has its good points, but sour lemon leaves it in the dust. I learned that halibut isn't worth the extra money; cod is tastier. I learned that the Pacific Ocean in July, off the coast of Oregon, is almost bathwater perfect, and that harmless looking algae often conceals tingly, toe-biting beasts--but that the pain goes away fairly quickly. I learned that you can say a lot to someone without saying anything at all, and that sitting on the edge of the ocean with duel headphones connected to one Ipod with two hours of worship music lined up is about the closest thing to heaven you're going to find on earth.
I stared at Haystack Rock, and sun sparkles on waves, and elderly couples who still wanted to hold hands as they left close-together footprints on the shoreline. I watched a little girl take a kite in her hands for the first time, and heard her giggles drift above the gulls' cries. I saw the power of God in the thundering tide, and I wanted to stand and spread my arms wide. I wanted to grab my oils and capture the scene on canvas. I wanted to sing. I wanted to cry.
God filled my bone-dry places with living water and touched my cheek with His breath and whispered my name on the clouds. He brought me there to draw me back ... back, because I'd wandered a bit in the last months. I'd busied myself with His business instead of with Him, and He drew a line there in the warm sand and beckoned me across. The stepping brought joy.
Of the many gifts I received on this trip, one of the most profound came when I waded alone in shin-deep water, listening to a much-loved song by Avalon. If you don't know this one, read the words carefully. Then lift your eyes to the God who did all this and more.
One single drop of rain
Your salty tear became blue ocean
One tiny grain of sand turning in Your hand
A world in motion
You're out beyond the furthest Morning Star
Close enough to hold me in Your arms
Adonai, I lift up my heart and I cry
You are Maker of each moment
Father of my hope and freedom
Oh, my Adonai
One timid faithful knock
Resounds upon the Rock of Ages
One trembling heart and soul
Becomes a servant bold and courageous
You call across the mountains and the seas
I answer from the deepest part of me
From age to age you reign in majesty
And today you're making miracles in me