My legs are a-wobble. Every half a step forward, a good bit sideways I go. Trying my best to stand still, I list to one side and then the other. Closing my eyes, I teeter — no, not exactly teeter — I tip, lean, crest a wave and recover to ride the next and the next. I roll.
In case you’re wondering, I’m not impaired — neither drunk, nor woozy. I’m fully awake, fully aware, fully cognizant, all systems go. It’s just that my body’s balancing system thinks it’s still aboard the ship where I spent the last week. In spite of all my other senses saying, “See, you’re on pavement. Solid ground. Perfectly still. Nothing’s moving,” my body isn’t buying it. It’s tuned into its own channel, plugged into its own input source, trusting its own instincts.
Funny, I have queried others who were aboard the boat with me and none have experienced this sustained rocking. My husband was totally terrestrial the moment we came ashore. Other friends had perhaps a day or two of remnant “sea legs.” But I rock and roll a good long while. Only over multiple days of walking on terra firma, will my body return to its former stride; the old way, the boring but steadfast, the everyday way.
Just between you and me, I prefer the rhythm of the waves. There is just something in me that finds home there. I wonder if rhythm is my default sensation.
It served me well on our expedition from the ship over to Espanola Island where paths were pretty treacherous: big rocks and very unsure footing. At first, my sneakers kept slipping; the harder I tried to find just the right foothold, the more unsteady I became. But when I found my footing by hip-hopping, one-two-ing, left-righting from one rock to the next, I kept my balance. Cha-cha-cha. Was anyone else feeling the rhythm or grooving to the beat? Probably not. Yes, embarrassing. Don’t tell them.
But here I am, a full week ashore and still rocking my sea-legs. Am I just made differently?
Makes me wonder if my first language wasn’t words, but movement. Before we speak, we move. Why can’t that be our native tongue? Can’t you just picture the moment? The Creator thinks, hmm, this one’s gonna think in motion. And not random motion but guided motion and choreographed motion. She’s gonna respond in motion and understand in motion. When she sees someone move, she’ll move, too. When she’s stumped, she’ll untangle things on the move. It’ll stay with her. It’s the way I’ll speak to her.
Why wouldn’t the one who created the winds and the waves, the storms and the calm, the rhythm and the rocking, sow this into us as well?
I must say, the rocking is gentling so I’m not in a hurry for it to go. It has a language of its own. Seems to speak in a very old tongue from the ancient of days, from before days, perhaps even before time, when that language of love that holds and rocks and caresses and cares spoke creation itself.
Before there was light by which to see
and air through which to hear;
Before there was land on which to stand,
and an expanse of sky to draw our gaze upward;
Love was in motion.
Surely, it was.
And still is.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. ~ John 3:16
I’ve read it perhaps hundreds of times. Heard it read probably hundreds more. So why, when I hear the scripture for the day spoken in 6 languages, am I mesmerized? When it is completed with “The word of God for the people of God” and we reply, “Thanks be to God,” why am I reduced to tears? (to listen, click here)
Perhaps because it helps me imagine the miracle of Pentecost. (Acts 2: 1-8) I’ve always been intrigued by the events of that day. When a bunch of folks from podunk Galilee were licked by “tongues of fire” and suddenly started speaking in other peoples’ languages.
I’m one of those whoa! how did God do that? kind of Christians. You know, the kind that asks questions like, did He actually cause them to speak in new languages? Or did he change the ears of the listeners so they could hear it in their own language? Did the disciples know they were speaking in new languages? If so, did it surprise them? Or did the the author of the Book of Acts just make all this up because it was a cool story and a nice reversal of what happened at the tower of Babel?
I’m a question-asker. So, when someone else (like my Pastor) asks a question, it gets me wondering how I would answer. During worship Tom asked us to fill in the blank:
“I am a Christian because…….”
Now, Tom expanded a bit on this …as Tom will. He seemed to break it down into:
- I came to know Christ in __________.
- I continue in Christ because __________.
- I’m sustained in Christ by __________.
Funny how talking about God seems to happen over time and in three parts. Perhaps this speaks to me because I find that my faith in Christ is a moving target, a dynamic organism. This may also be because I am a question-asker. I’m never quite satisfied with the answer. There is always another question. Perhaps that’s my native tongue – Query. But here goes.
- I came to know Christ in the company of fellow Disciple Bible study class members who honestly welcomed the questions I brought to the faith which I did not yet know.
- I continue in Christ because my daily life is a constant reminder that I need saving, and try as I might, I can’t do that for myself. ‘Saved’ does not feel safe or finished.
- I am sustained in Christ by my experience in devotions, in Bible study, in serving and in worship where God continuously makes Himself known. It’s like a perpetual game of hide and seek where I’m always “it” and He lets me find Him every time.
God knows I love a good game and a good Q and A session.
Someone once told me that when a teacher or lecturer asks, “Are there any questions?” that’s really code for “I want to move on to the next topic.” Funny, huh? I find a lot of truth there, having spent some years as a teacher. I suspect God would probably rather say to me, “Wendy, we need to move on” but instead He is infinitely patient in offering to show me …again.
He’s probably waiting for the lightbulb over my head to come on. We have come such a long way since fire.