Rector's Ramblings July 5, 2017
The sky was a crisp brilliant blue, the sun was shining, and there wasn’t a cloud in sight. It was a beautiful morning, a perfect summer day to take the girls to the beach. Not only was it a perfect summer day, it was Independence Day and what better way to celebrate the Fourth of July than out in God’s beautiful creation. Of course, being from a beach town myself, I knew that everyone and their mother was going to have the same idea. So I rushed to get us ready and out the door by 10:15. After a brief stop, we made it to the Coast Guard beach access and the dread of parking fell upon me - it was packed! I said to the girls, “Maybe we should try the other beach approach.” “No mommy, we want to go to this beach.” I agreed and we slowly drove around, hoping to find a parking spot. After five minutes we found an opening at the front of the parking lot. We’d made it! Sheer excitement filled our hearts as we jumped out of the car to gather our things and head to find our spot in the sand.
It was low tide, the gray and white sand spread magnificently as far as the eye could see. Pops of color scattered across the landscape from the different tents and beach set ups. In the distance, people were exploring the sandbar and the water was calm and glassy, just enticing us to get in. After the first hour of basking in God’s glory, I got distracted. I began to notice how the beach was filling up and the space the girls had chosen was getting smaller and smaller by the minute. Let the people watching and judging commence!
Here come two college guys carrying a cooler and pulling a speaker blaring explicit rap music for all to hear. Don’t get me wrong, I love all types of music, even some rap, but that is unnecessary when the place is filled with children. Oh look, a huge group plops down right next to us. Once again music, but this time I’m thrilled at the song selections. They seem like a good group of folks, but what’s the deal with bringing bean bag games to the beach? Back in the water with the girls, playing Marco Polo, a couple catches my eye. Thank God for sunglasses! There was something not exactly PG going on - right in front of my Rated G age daughters. I tried to keep the girls distracted and quietly prayed that they couldn’t tell what was going on, plus the only way to get out of the water was to pass this couple. “Marco.” “Polo.”
I continued to play and people watch. There were all sorts of activities happening at the Coast Guard beach in celebration of the Fourth of July. I realized as I continued to watch the business of the beach, I let the human part of me, the judgment part of me, make assumptions about what I was witnessing. Instead of letting myself continue to bask in the glory of God’s creation, I was making judgments about God’s creation. A few weeks ago in Kidurgy, we talked to the children about God knowing every hair on each of our heads, and here I was judging the hair on the people’s head at the beach. We are all created in the image of God, just as God knows the hairs on our head, He loves each and every being enjoying the beautiful beaches of Saint Simons Island. Knows them all by name, just as He knows every speck of sand. Even the couple requiring sunglasses. This day was a good life lesson and reminder, once again, that we are all created in the image of God and God is calling us to see the face of Christ in everybody! I pray that y’all had a wonderful Fourth of July and continue to have a safe and happy summer!
O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. BCP 815