Deep and Wide

Summertime, summertime, it’s here! As kids, my cousin and I played a game in the pool. We bounced up and down on our toes, counting with each lift, until on three, we squeezed our noses and pulled ourselves underwater to talk. Big bubbles erupted from our mouths followed by bursts of bubbles of all sizes, as we laughed and shot upwards coughing into the bright air.

“This time, just one of us talk,” my cousin said. “Then, we’ll come up to see if we understood.”

Already holding my nose, I answer. “You go first.”

“Okay,” She answered, and we began bouncing and counting. “One, two, three.”

We pulled ourselves under and struggled to remain down as our lungs, full of air, tugged us upwards. Swiping the water this way and that as our knees scraped against the concrete, we resisted ascending.

Bubbles created boinking sounds, and children swished their toys and knocked them against the pool sides or clanked them on the floor. Through the weird noises, my cousin’s  muffled voice burbled “Behhhhbliiii.”

We burst above the water and wiped curtains of hair and streams of water out of our eyes. Kids splashed and laughed all around us in raucous noise, so I had to yell for my cousin to hear. “I couldn’t tell what you were saying.” We both breathed hard to catch our breathes but were  eager for more. “Let’s try again.”

“Okay— One, two, three.”

Bloosh, we immersed again out of the sun’s and swimmers’ fevers into the cool, blue otherworld. My cousin blurted out word bubbles. This time I could tell there were two words, “Behhh. Blihhh.”

We swooshed upwards in a cascade of water and gulped air full of excitement.

Locking eyes, and eager for her answer, I asked, “Best something?”

“YES!” She screamed. “BEST. FRIENDS.” She beamed. We grabbed hands and jumped up and down, churning the water like a washer. 

Recalling the game brings the smell of chlorine and the sun’s glare ricocheting off the sloppy water. Besides a word here or there, we misunderstood each other, but rocketing up and down in the water and trying to figure out the message entertained us so much that we lost track of time.

My communication with God often seems like a bubble conversation, though not fun. The racket inside and outside my head muffles and distorts His words. I don’t expect God to speak audibly, but I hope He’ll impress my heart with answers to my conundrums. 

Most often my prayers focus on figuring out His will. Should I say yes or no? Should I write that blog, make this trip? I waffle, unable to discern His answers from counterfeit ones. Stressing and over- analyzing, I stop asking. 

Some time ago, I descended into a slough, deeply discouraged and disgusted with myself. An urge overcame me to peel back my skin and crawl out and down into the dirt and dark. Fatigue weighed me like chest-deep molasses. I rose in the mornings and went through the motions, but my inner-self descended into sleepwalking.

One of those days, silence crowded the house, and everything seemed dead. Not interested, but to silence the silence, I turned on music. On the fourth song, while I hauled the laundry basket down the hall, God spoke unexpectedly. God’s Spirit arrowed Taylor Lionhartd’s words as if they came out of His mouth. 

“You are not an afterthought. Love Himself dreamed you up, 

Dressed you in diamonds, called you his star. 

Been hiding all this time, your hands over your eyes, 

I see you darling, you have my heart. 

Not good enough, that’s what you tell yourself, 

Invisible, nobody notices. 

You’re a precious thought hidden in the heart of God, 

How good it is to know you.

You became a word none of us had ever heard, 

How good it is to know you, How good it is to know you. 

Walk with me now and learn a different song, 

The one that I’ve been singing all along.”

Tears flooded my eyes. It was too good to be true, but I knew with certainty He spoke. He brought me back home through a love I didn’t expect— a love that didn’t expect something from me. His love poured in me and spilled over, running down my arms and flooding around me, enveloping my failures and flaws and humbled me, not with shame, but with gratefulness and wonder that He took pleasure in calling me His own. I accepted it, gulped it and floated in it.

For some of us, believing God loves us and wants to love us is our steepest hurdle. He forfeit His Son for us, isn’t that proof enough? Mentally we agree, but to penetrate our hearts, many feet deeper into our person, that message  must be whispered by God, Himself, His breath in our ears. Then, we remind ourselves and cling to its truth.

God’s love for us, anchors us solidly in Him, so despite waves of fear and bubbles of confusion we know we’re going to be okay. His love is that strong and doesn’t need to answer every question or fix every situation or wilt without emotion. Our anxiety can turn to splashing adventure or at least our hearts can calm with Him in the water with us. 

I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:17b-19

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top