(D) There was a moment for me out on the beach, like Footprints in the Sand, when I too got to feel the warm sliding sand under my feet and between my toes, and the ocean’s water reaching out to me in gentle waves; even me, from beyond the vanishing point.  I was untroubled and in light.  Samuel was my guardian then and was the one who convinced me to take that first step outside and into the dark.  Though at first my heart said no, I knew he was good and I’d eventually follow.  It took many years, but my time came.  We were talking and laughing in the sun while the fruit of that great tree, the mustard seed, spilled out of my sandwich and landed on top of my feet.  I hadn’t known what it was like to stand in faith, or how far just one grain could go; it just seemed funny to me and it was in that innocence Sam was laughing too.

My heart was something new that day.  Earlier in the morning as I lied awake in bed she was again at my door.  She never knocked but I could hear her feet on the squeaky floorboards just outside.  You must understand how embarrassing this is for me to write.  To this day, more than a decade later, my eyes still squeeze shut and I cringe just thinking about it, but it adds something essential to the story and I want your experiences to be full.  I had known, like so many times before, what would happen if I let her in, and I knew it was wrong.  There was a time when the word taboo filled me with excitement, but that morning I rolled over in bed hoping she’d go away.  The door creaked open and I saw her naked figure through the narrow gap and I yelled out, “Go away!” almost in tears, and rolled back over to shut her from view.  The crime had gone too far, so many times, then even a shut door wasn’t a solid enough boundary for her, and I was angry I hadn’t thought to lock it.  How she dominated me back then!  I would’ve come crawling to her.  I would’ve forgotten myself and abandoned my pride just to see her.  How I coveted her!  I could feel the draft coming from the door.  I could feel her breath, and as my heartbeat rose I felt myself slipping. “Get out! OUT!” I called again, even louder and more desperate, and threw my pillow out towards the door.  In that moment as my head’s rest was forsaken and went flying through the air, I saw the wide disbelief in her eyes as she shrunk away and closed the door behind her.

On the beach I had forgotten this, but now I understand that repentance was a kind of step of its own; it paved the way for what followed next.  Sam and I were laughing and talking while an older man walked alongside a woman.  He had his arm around her and I couldn’t hear what was being said but I knew he was guiding her spirit.  Somehow I knew his words would guide me too, if only I could hear him.  Then something invisible came prodding my heart to go up and speak to him; but I was shy.  They passed by and made to go farther, but the conviction to take that step only got stronger despite myself, and so I did while lifting up my hand and calling out for his attention.  I said, “Excuse me!”  He turned to face me and was then transfigured, smiling as if he’d been waiting, and arms opening wide for the embrace as a living Cristo Redentor.  I knew him.  I recognized I had always known him, and as I stepped forward there was an immense feeling of belonging, as if I was a droplet being pulled into the ocean.  The prodding force in my heart was exploding with applause, almost shouting, “Excellent! This is excellent!” We embraced and in that moment of unconditional acceptance I whispered up to him, “God, why did it take me so long?”

We walked along the beach, his arm around me and my arm upon his shoulder.  We were walking towards a great light.  As we walked the light was getting brighter and I could feel myself getting weaker.  More and more I found myself falling into his side, yet his strength never waivered.  The weaker I got, the more he supported me until there was no strength in me at all and I couldn’t stand on my own.  As we entered into that great light Jesus was carrying me.

Copyright 2015 Jason S Cooper
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