If only we pay attention, we will be able to behold & sense our Sacred Holy creator whenever we come to the water’s edge, whenever we pause & behold the etching of His almighty hand.
While a river, a creek, & canal have places to go, a lake or a pond or even the sea is confined, its energies are compounded as it surges from deep below, pulled by the invisible force of the moon. The edge of the lake never ceases its perpetual rhythms, each with synchronous sounds; there’s quiet talk of the rare barely rippling waves & more commonly the gurgle, the tumbling & tramping of the roar of the lake & on occasion, a deafening percussion of the waves in a storm. But the sound that infuses my soul the most, no matter what noise is beyond, is the sound of quiescence, which is perhaps God’s most necessary ingredient for creation. There is a quiet peacefulness about being at the water’s edge that cannot be found anywhere else. It is the place where prayers begin & where we feel the palpable sense of the Sacred that brings healing to our weary souls. We come to the water when what we hold cannot be contained any more, seeking peace in our heart of hearts, forgiveness, understanding, comfort, & healing. In the water God washes us clean & immerses us in a peace that feeds our souls & surpasses all understanding.
At the lake, water & clouds meet in celebration of the wholeness of life. The lake is living water, ever in motion & ever changing in color & in the form of ripples & waves reflecting God’s life-giving healing current. Across its surface comes the broad pathway of light made by the rising sun. It mirrors the ever-changing form of the clouds & it is illuminated by the glow of the evening sky. In every aspect, water is a living thing. The lake then, is sacramental, a place where God speaks to us through the quiet of communion with all living things He has created. We can hear & feel His very heartbeat in the quiet as He opens up space for us to receive His gifts of creation through His voice in all forms of nature. Here in the sacramental water, there is a rippling tide of love, one that flows secretly out from God into the soul & draws it mightily back into its Source.
Recently as I stood by the water’s edge, I was gifted with the experience of hearing God’s voice & beholding His Holy presence revealed in nature through water & light. It was a Holy spiritual experience I will never forget. I had come to the lake that evening when I felt what I held in my heart could no longer be contained. I came seeking quiet & healing for the aloneness & deep grief I felt following the very sudden death of my sister, the only living family member I had remaining. As I stood in silence by the water, I felt drawn to go out onto the water in our canoe so I could feel a closeness with God in prayer amidst the ripples of the living water. My prayers were filled with grief & gratitude seeking God’s peace, comfort & grace as I moved through the quiet darkness on the water. I could feel God’s soothing presence in the calm water & it filled my heart & brought me comfort & waves of peace & hope.
I might have remained there longer if it had not been for the random, very bright flashing of light I saw coming from the water’s edge by the long, somewhat dangerous pathway on the beach that led back to my home. The flashes of light were a stark contrast to the darkness I had felt in my heart as I first came to the water that evening in grief. They reminded me of the scripture that tells us that: “the light shines in the darkness & the darkness will never overcome it.” Once on the land as I looked for the flashes of light, I saw several fireflies in the trees & then suddenly I became surrounded by hundreds of fireflies lighting up the entire pathway all the way back to my home.
There is a difference between seeing something & beholding something. Sight is a physical gift & beholding is a Holy spiritual gift. When I first noticed the few random fireflies shining by the path, my sight was physical. By the time I saw the entire path lit up by hundreds of fireflies gathered to guide me safely back home, deep in my spirit, in joyful silence, I beheld them for I knew then & without a doubt, felt I was in God’s presence & could hear His voice. As I walked forward in the light with my heart calmed & bathed by the Sacred living water, I could feel my earlier heartache & sadness melt away. Hope & healing & God’s grace & the peace that can only come from our Creator filled my being. Through the creation of water, light & the tiny fireflies shining their light together, I knew & could feel that it was God who through nature was present & was guiding me forward & safely back to my home. With each step, I could feel the very palpable sense of the Sacred presence of our Lord. I had come to the place where prayer begins seeking healing & peace. And in the still quiet, so too comes the One who utters in wordless reply through His creative nature of water, wind & light. I knew then & I know now, that forever as I come to pray at the healing edge of the holy water, through nature that embodies our Creator, grace will be given. If only we pay attention, we will be able to behold & sense our Sacred Holy creator whenever we come to the water’s edge, whenever we pause & behold the etching of His almighty hand. May we all keep our eyes, our ears & our hearts open to receive His bathing grace given through nature & through Holy Scripture. AMEN
~Posted by Rev Kathryn Bindig, MDiv. MS; Pastoral Care Minister with assistance from Rich Muscatello; Director of Business Development & Strategy
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