One of my earliest memories of the California coastline was a trip when I was five or six years old. My brother and I were in a world beyond our imagination! Massive waves, starfish, mussels, and the salty mist were just the beginning of the new world. As we ran, explored, and followed my dad’s lead, the lingering memory that has always stayed with me was the awe I felt as I watched the Pacific rollers crash into the rocky outcrops just offshore.
In the years since, I have seen waves batter the shoreline, each more than 60 feet high. The power displayed was overwhelming! There were two extremes in the moment. I felt small, powerless, and insignificant. I was helpless to do anything but watch. In contrast the rocky outcrops stood and held on. Rollers pushed by high winds and pulled by the tidal surge under a full moon tried to consume each point to no avail. The rocks held on. They were weathered and hammered yet standing.
A picture of two friends caught me off guard. While it was great to see them smiling in a picture postcard memory, it was the wave trying to consume the rock behind them that caught my attention. It was a violent encounter! The intensity of the clash gave birth to a spray that released wonder, beauty, and energy.
Life took time to remind me of the battles that have come and gone over the years. What remains above everything is the belief that compassion, love, and community are our greatest values. There are times where one lost sight of them. In those moments it seemed as if Evil triumphed. Yet it was never over before it was over. Goodness resiliently stood through the battle and emerged intact. As I reflect I release that “God, alert, is also on watch – Wicked won’t hurt a hair of his head.” (Psalm 37.33)
I have no doubt that we will encounter more storms in the future. Some will overwhelm. Foundation will tremble. Through everything, the Rock will remain.