• Jill Jarrell Newsome

Wash Over Me

On days like today I get spring fever. I am reminded of Friday afternoons at Hoggard High School in the early 1980's. We were allowed to leave the campus for lunch but on Fridays there was plenty of empty parking places after lunch. Even before I drove I would go to the pay phone (!) on the forum and call Dad at work. The conversation always went the same. "What's wrong Jill?" Not annoyed, always concerned. I will not share my next line. Then Dad would say, "I'm on my way." As soon as he got me he would remind me the sun would make me feel better. Most of the time he took me home but one day he took my friend and I to the beach. Maybe she wasn't feeling good either! We were so smart that we told Dad to take us towards Johnny Mercer's because everyone would be at Station One (that is where we all laid out) and I was afraid of getting in trouble. Before I got out of the car Dad reminded me not to get too much sun because Mom would not approve. He told me that almost every Friday. That day Mr. Sauls, the principal, took the activity bus to Station One and took names and loaded up the bus!

I know my Dad would be smiling right now! He would tell me that the life lessons were more important than the Algebra! After I was grown and married we ran into my algebra teacher who I loved. I introduced her to Dad and she said, "so you are the one who checked her out every Friday?! She loved me and knew math was not in my future.

There were worse places for me to want to go, right? Genesis 1: 21, "So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good." God may not have been proud of me leaving school to go to the beach but I believe it tickles Him that I get so much joy from His creation. He is just like a parent wanting His children to appreciate what they have given them.

I forget that there are people who have never seen the ocean. I do not know how I would convey to someone the greatness of the ocean and the nature of waves. How they continuously break on the shore. Then try to explain the sound it makes. If they have a noise maker they can hear the ocean but it is not the same without your feet in the sand and you looking at the water or in it.

I lose all track of time at the beach. I do not need anyone to talk to, a phone nor a book. I just like to listen to the waves move away and then return. Over and over. I find that that is the only time I tend to just sit and be still. Psalm 46: 10, "He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;..."

I think the sound of the waves along with the smell of salt air put me into a deeper trance. The repetition of the waves reduces all stress. That is why people use the ocean noise to make relaxation CD's but it cannot be the same! It is so wonderful to have your feet massaged in the warm sand.

I go to the beach some days with a tight neck and stressed out but after a while I feel myself calm down. I am always so grateful at the beach. I do not take it for granted! I talk to Him a lot especially when I am by myself in the water. I shed tears out there because I am so close to God in the salt water. Sometimes happy tears and some times sad tears. Sometimes it is just the fact that I am so at peace in His beautiful creation. He draws me in deeper. Just as the waves wash over me and just like the waves wash over the sand, God washes over me at the beach.

When I sit in the edge of the water I love to watch the glistening water flow over the tiny shells and pebbles. They are so smooth from years of rolling around in the storms. After a day in God's creation it seems He has smoothed out the storms of my life. Thank You, God, for letting me live at the beach and more importantly thank You for letting me know and feel that that is "our" place that I can meet you any time I want!

When was the last time you sat still just to be with Jesus?