A visual parable from the seashore for these times

My favorite place in the world is the Coast. This week I was blessed to be able to go there to work, find quiet, and walk on the beach. The morning after my arrival, the tide was the lowest of the week and I was looking forward to a walk in-between rain showers.

A walk on the beach is where I feel free to pour out my heart, listen to God and sing into the wind with the crashing waves playing the music. Walking, I was challenged to shake off the weight of the world and all the unrest. Sadness had crept in and I was feeling discouraged. I came across this small stone trapped between the large boulders and it seemed to echo my feelings.

I noticed the beach was strewn with thousands of translucent finger-larva like things all over the sand. I had never seen them before. Many also swirled in dirty pools full of what looked like sea garbage trying to be flushed down clogged toilets. This is not what I usually see walking on the beach. In fact, I’ve never seen it before. It was disgusting.

 

Later, I looked up what the ugly, unwelcome translucent finger-things on the beach are, and found they are called Pyrosomes, likely invading from warm waters of California. Pyrosomes are ‘gelatinous, translucent tubelike creatures ranging from less than an inch to a foot or more.’ The pyrosomes have ‘wreaked havoc with the nets of commercial anglers, and they washed ashore by the millions, littering the beaches.’ Scientists are baffled and it seems that they are not a nutritious source of food for any fish that eat them. They consume plankton fish need to eat. It seems they eventually die and collect on the ocean floor for the bottom feeders, and studies are being done to see what the effect on the ocean’s food chain will be. https://www.oregonlive.com/today/2018/04/pyrosome_population_oregon_coast.html

To me, their presence reflects the current times we find ourselves living in. Unknown, unwanted, unsafe, and reflecting the unseen enemy who seeks to kill, steal and destroy.

As I walked further toward the rocks, four times I saw crabs scurrying away to hide under rocks when I came near. Crabs are symbols of success and prosperity through self protection. They move quickly and confidently in all directions, knowing they carry protection/armor.

During this time it feels like the tide is out. The crabs seem like powerful prosperous, successful people, driven by greed, and lust for power are starting to be being exposed, scurrying around and trying to hide.

But even with all this, there was beauty too. I looked up and out to the horizon. Ocean waves, bold and beautiful were crashing close to the horizon, playing the song of the sea.

I set my sight on some intriguing caves in the side of the land mass that jutted out into the ocean. It looked to me like deathly cavernous eye sockets, luring me in.

Although the tide was coming in, it was still far enough out to allow me to explore a bit, and I’ve always wanted to see inside. A mass of cracked rocks made up the land mass, and just before the entry of the cave, water dripped down from the ceiling. It was big enough for me to easily walk in. A few steps in I wondered if the cave would collapse with all the dripping, cracks and incessant pounding of the surf.

Instead of seeing less light as I walked further in, it began to get lighter, and realized it wasn’t a cave after all; it was a passageway.

I thought of how this experience was also reflecting the times we are in and remembered Winston Churchill’s quote,

‘If you find yourself in hell, keep going.’

Then Psalm 23:4 (TPT)

Lord, even when your path takes me through
the valley of deepest darkness,
fear will never conquer me, for you already have!
You remain close to me and lead me through it all the way.
Your authority is my strength and my peace.
The comfort of your love takes away my fear.
I’ll never be lonely, for you are near.

I stopped in awe of the beauty as I looked from the darkness of the cavern out to the water and land flooded with light.

Taking my phone out to snap a few photos, a rock dropped from the ceiling of the cavern not far from where I stood, startling me with the message, ‘Go now. It’s not safe to stay in the passageway. You must go through.” I left immediately, grateful for the pictures and the lesson.

You must go through…

We have entered the unknown darkness of the pandemic and social, cultural, and political unrest. It is frightening and the ceiling overhead looks as if it could crash in at any moment. But thankfully we are not in a cave. It is a short passageway leading to a new light, a new view, a new time. We must go through – do not stop – do not give up! Look up and out to the horizon. The light is coming with waves of healing.

Refreshing is coming from Above

Cling to the Rock of Ages

Later that evening it started to storm. The wind blew, the water raged. It continued throughout the following day. I stayed inside, knowing the weather made it easy for me to focus on my work, and grateful for the walk I took.

I always check the tide table and hope low tide coincides with it not raining, since I do not like raindrops on my glasses. The following day, at low tide, I ventured out for a long walk. To my absolute amazement, there was not a single pyrosome. The shore was washed clean of all the filthy debris. It seemed impossible.

 

I walked and found a path on the ridge of the dunes, giving a higher view and perspective. I sensed the Spirit speaking words of life to my soul. The sun and gentle breeze kissed my face, and I heard Him whisper, ‘It’s going to be okay. I am Ruler of the world I created and redeemed. Just keep walking with me and get ready for the NEW!’

 

Arise!

Living Your Word 2020 Opportunity!

Bernice Hopper, and Mary Brack, and I share insights through blog posts for creatively living a word of the year. In our Facebook group, we encourage one another by posting questions and prompts to inspire living out a word focus, keeping a journal etc. It is a safe place to ask for prayer and support. If you would like to connect with others in creative ways about living your word, you can ask to join our Living Your Word of the Year 2020 by clicking on the link below.

URL for Facebook group:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/livingyourwordoftheyear/

URLs for Instagram:  #livingyourword2020

CHECK OUT THE BLOGS:

Bernice: https://newlycreative.com

Mary:  www.foundonbrighton.com

Valerie: https://valeriesjodin.com/blog/ (this one :-))

18 Comments

  1. Valerie…..I’m in awe, there are no words for the things the Lord showed you and your eloquent pictures and words. Just WOW. What a precious memory to hold on to for all time, a message of hope from Him to you, from you to us. And ARISE is my word for this year! I thought it meant one thing, but what I’ve had to ARISE and do was to bring my Mother out of her facility 14 weeks ago to care for her during this awful time, with another 4+ to go before she can move into a new facility that I can trust to take better care of her. My State had opened up, but we can’t go anywhere bc of the risk. I feel I trapped like your Little Rock between the boulders of my Mother’s care and Covid/World disruptions, and the Pyrosomes are eating all that is nourishing and sustaining. Three weeks ago I got a herniated disc in my back, so painful, and I must continue to care for Mother and go up and down the stairs a minimum of 7 times a day. It has felt like the dark passage you were in, with rocks falling on me everywhere, with no light in sight. But here you are reminding us…there is Light. The true Light that shines into the darkness, and refreshment on the other side if we will just press on toward the Hope that is before us. Thank you so very much for sharing, beautiful Valerie!!!

    • Oh Debra, Thank you for writing. I apologize for the delayed reply to you, and others this month. I’ve had some website challenges and have been sifting through numerous spam comments, and missed important ones like yours until now. Right now I am praying for the healing of your back, disc to be realigned. You need that to help your mother up and down the stairs. I got a herniated disc last fall and was nearly incapacitated for a few months. I can see how the little rock trapped between the big ones relates to your situation. Your word ‘arise’ seems very key this year in so many ways. Thank you for sharing that. I really appreciate your comment Debra. Blessings of health, strength, hope and peace! Love, Valerie

  2. Valerie,
    I, too. love the beach and have gone there to find quietness of heart and to be renewed in His Presence and escape from the chaos. I am so glad you were able to go away and find such sweet words. I haven’t had the opportunity to go for a long beach walk for awhile; and have sorely needed it. My mood has gone from deep sadness to anger to asking God for deeper understanding.
    Your beach walk was so refreshing and full of the revelation of His love and faithfulness. Thank you so taking us through such a sweet journey with Him. I could almost feel the ocean air and wetness on my cheeks. His creation is such a picture of His care, and you have captured that so well. The “through” for me was so key. There is another side of all this…and it will be new, and He will still be there on the other side. Thank you Valerie …love walking with you!!

  3. What a fabulous way God spoke to you through His creation. I love analogies and this one was perfect for me today. It has been hard to understand the many dynamics of the world right now and knowing that God is in front of me, leading me to light when I look up, brings hope!

    Thank you for being a “hope bearer” for us! Blessings to you.

  4. Such beautiful photos. What a lovely place to escape to. I’m so glad you had an opportunity for retreat and solitude. 🙂

  5. Valerie, Thanks so much for this post. It resonated with the feelings I have had this past week. It brought comfort to me. I’m glad you were able to enjoy the coast. I am so fortunate that I live here near the ocean. It always sooths me as I walk along the shores. Thank you again.

  6. Thank you for sharing Valerie! I always get spiritual encouragement every time I read your posts! Such amazing spiritual visuals!

  7. Thank you for the lovely reminders of your lovely area and our awesome God! Beautiful! Your pictures and your words captured it so well! It also reminded me of a verse I read this morning. Psalm 77:19 “Your road led through the sea, your pathway through the mighty waters–a pathway no one knew was there!” (NLT). He delights to show us a pathway that no one knows is there! When everyone else thinks they have it all figured out, He shows His pathway!

  8. I began this week searching the scriptures each morning for ways I could improve myself and not worry about the horrors being done to other humans in the news. It was getting me down so badly, but I could do something about myself. Now your post this morning is a caboose on my searching train – THANK YOU for your wise words from scripture. Trust in His timing is all important if I trust in Him. I will walk in his ways so I don’t spew empty words in my path.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment