Remembering the balm of the ocean waves crashing and the soft white sand under my feet, I wrote:
“God, or a prayer, can be at the edge of the ocean. They (It/He/She) can be the happy memory that replaces the sad, grief-stricken one.”
I reached for my necklace and rubbed the hanging pendants like a lucky penny, accompanying it with a silent prayer to keep my son safe and healthy.
“I need SOMETHING to believe in. We all need something. Call it God, or the ocean waves crashing. We need things to replace our anguish, grief, and pain. We need things to bolster our bravery and courage, even if–who knows–it’s a false sense of security. Standing there, at the edge of the water or wherever we may be, we pray for protection for our loved ones. God is there with us, in the places we go to when we yearn the most for the priceless immaterial things, like the health of a child. The happiness of a family. Love. Pregnancy. Peace…God is where you find it. Where you find yourself.”
When you go looking, God will be there alongside your prayers. When you arrive at those moments that beckon incredible bravery and courage, we have to believe in something.
Even when believing in something also means that suffering is unavoidable–God still shows up in those moments. It’s always there; the Earth underfoot, the snap of the twigs along the path, the unlikely friendship, the remarkable sunset, the wind blowing by your face, obstructing your hearing. The stroke of your fingers through your brave child’s hair. The bee sting, the illness, the diagnosis. The pandemic.
Wherever you find God, in whatever form, you are celebrated and you are scathed. The wind does not discriminate. The sun sets for all of us. And the bee will sting eventually if you’re brave enough to walk past the hive to see what’s on the other side. We’re all a part of this incredible, tragic, miraculous collective story. And we’re trying our best. We’re failing, we’re falling, we’re flying. Alone, together.
Sending love and more bravery than you ever thought you had,