Written on January 13, 2016. By Shari Norvell
“Captain our Captain, the water is rising. You are filling our shores, the shores of your heart. O Captain our Captain, blow upon our sails.”
Those words bounced and bounded through me last night as the Blue Army sang them, awakening, resurrecting a desire deep inside. To be the shore He crashes upon. To be the washed clean, utterly empty shore of His heart.
Empty is a hard word. It seems to imply being without. It’s trembling truth means being within. Deep in the undiscovered, kneeling in the unknown. Like standing on the shore of an ocean, awaiting a wave. As it approaches, you know not how far in it will come. Will it tickle your toes or cause you to dig them downward so you can remain right where you were? Yet if you can, you quickly realize the frolicking fun of being moved. Moved to where you are, present tense. Now.
It is then that the reckless remembrance comes. You have only let Him be a wave, when He is the entire ocean. For you built a sandcastle. It took hours and the brick and mortar still clings to your skin. You didn’t mean to, but you made it a line in the sand. A don’t cross this, don’t move me line.
But He did cross it. He does. He can’t help it. Wild waterholes are like that. For He isn’t a crest. He’s a cascade. Cascades shift and shape, cracking the crevice until the outpouring comes. And doesn’t stop.
You have a choice then. You can go, plunging to the place that held what you built and try to gather each grain back unto yourself. Or you can recognize the glory of the blank canvas before you, ready to be imagined upon. Awaiting fingerprints and footsteps and a dig or two from the shovel shell you discovered within it. Expectant of words and pictures that seem silly when you start yet are rich with splendor when you are done.
And then empty doesn’t seem so scary. You choose right then to let the pitcher of you tip. You let go of the “do not fill line” inside. For you would rather bear His high water mark than remain almost full. It is okay now if part of the shore goes out with the wondrous water. For when the tip of the ocean returns, it brings more of you with it and the immensity of Him. The crash says, “more, together, with, one.” And your yes collides, louder than you thought it would. Because you want to be in the business of overflow for the rest of your days. Your cup running over, filling the world with living water or wonder. Over the top of the vessel, you. No longer trying to catch it before it can escape or contain it so it goes nowhere at all.
The beauty of the shore is being the brim and border. The lip that utters the language you didn’t know you could speak. Once free and upon the wind, the new tongue tells of the choice you made. To let Him come. As far as He desires. As wildly as He wants. To go beyond you. And then you know. You just went farther than you ever intended. And almost as far as He will ever take you. Because another swing of the ocean is yet to crest the shore of you.
Let Pappa reveal your line in the sand and what you fear will be washed away if He crosses it.