I couldn’t help but watch.
The man was large, enormously so, and he shuffled across the pool deck toward the steps. Slowly he eased his body into the water, a grimace on his face. Any movement obviously caused him pain.
Until he got into the water.
Once in the water, I watched as he began jogging down the lane. He was buoyant in the pool and his body moved with an ease that he couldn’t enjoy outside of the water. He was smiling, confident, joyful.
I get it.
I LOVE the water.
Outside the pool I’m a pigeon-toed, creaky, toddling gal. My hip aches, my feet hurt and my knees make enough noise to provide a lovely little drum beat to anyone I happen to pass.
But put me in the water, baby.
And I can move!
I swim like Michael Phelps, run like Jordan, dance like JLo and limber up some cool moves like Simone Biles.
The water carries me.
Recently several friends have been going through heart wrenching times. Divorce, loss, cancer, kid troubles. The weight of the world hangs on them, weighing their hearts, their bodies, their minds, their spirits.
I’ve felt the heaviness of their sorrows myself. And it’s oh so massive.
It truly makes the spirit creak and groan under the weight of it all.
But for the water.
When I walk through hardship that weighs me down, it’s God that buoys me.
I’m not just talking spiritual gobbledygook (what a great word!), I’m talking the real stuff of life and hanging out with the One who loves me. It changes things.
It looks like…
- Instead of waking up grumpy, trying to imagine Jesus smiling as He greets me in the morning.
- Staring at the mountain with a cup of coffee and breathing his beauty in.
- Letting music cascade over me in the car, in my room, as I fold socks or do dishes.
- Listening to podcasts that help me see him better and think beyond myself.
- Reading one verse of the Bible that captures my heart and chewing on it, like how He rises to show us compassion (Gets up off his throne as his heart is moved! That’s beautiful!!), or how He is close to the broken hearted or how He loves us like crazy with a love that doesn’t end (the Bible says “everlasting love,” same diff.).
It’s slipping in to THAT kind of water. Pure, clean, refreshing. The weight of our sorrow is still there, but He allows us to run with it, to move and breathe and live with greater ease. Because his goodness surrounds us, keeps us buoyant, reminding us we are not alone, and that He is with us every step of the way.
It’s when we try to carry this stuff on our own that our spirits give out, creak, groan, quit.
So here’s me. Diving in. Shoot, I might even do one of my famous cannon balls smack into his goodness.