I always had an abundance of words, both written and spoken. Walking into a crowd of new people was an expedition to introduce myself and collect more friends. As soon as I learned to write, I wrote letters. Relatives, friends, and pen-pals received several pages scribbled with experiences that thrilled or broke my heart. As I grew, I learned the healing value of words. Writing through pain helped me heal and when I made that writing public, helped heal others.
Then one day last spring, my words disappeared.
They were gone. Totally gone.
I had nothing to say.
Nothing to write.
A blank screen or a blank page remained just that – blank – despite my fingers posed in readiness and my heart longing to fill up the emptiness with words.
Judas kisses, verbal assaults, disappointments, and a serious lung cancer scare last spring backed me into a corner, too tired to lift my hands to protect myself. Blow by blow they took turns knocking out my wind and my words.
I didn’t quit writing. I didn’t give up. I didn’t walk away.
I still showed up, but my words didn’t.
This summer I threw myself into outdoor physical labor, immersing myself in nature while trimming dead tree limbs and clearing mountains of fallen limbs. Weeds were pulled with the vengeance of Eve. Physical exhaustion drove away the nagging words that pounced on every silent moment.
It was a simple beach walk that finally allowed me to rise up on weary limbs and walk away from the constant battering of my heart and mind.
I walked and walked and walked on the empty Lake Superior shore as if walking on the emptiness of my soul.
The beauty of each rock preached a message of praise. The sand worked together with the fierceness of the Lake Superior waves to sooth their edges and transform each one into a work of art. Some were so polished they would never need to go through a rock polisher.
The grains of sand spoke of a promise-keeping God who thinks lovingly of His children.
17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
18 If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
But it was a twisted, partially burned piece of driftwood with scars of enduring that caused me to stop.
It was a testimony of endurance, defying the waves, storms, and flames. It had been changed, but not consumed.
It isn’t possible to have a life without trials. It is possible to endure as our Savior did.
How did Jesus endure Judas’ kiss? How did He live under the weight that His family refused to believe in Him? How could He carry that cross, the very instrument that would be used to torture him? How did He handle the loneliness of being forsaken by all those closest to Him?
He endured with our eternity in mind and to give us the power to endure our Judas kisses and crosses.
The lapping of the gentle waves were whispers of assurance to my soul from a loving Savior.
Each wave rattled pebbles to the shore before retreating back to the depths. Again and again the waves kissed the shore and with each pebble returned a word to my soul.