Friday, July 1, 2011


The air is always moving here, carrying sound, salt fragrance, cooking scents. The wind blows one direction and the next. There are people. Shouting, chatting, whispering. The speakers above the pool bar assault the air with a weird mix of music- from LL Cool J to Kenny Rogers.

The sun beats down mercilessly. The planes fly overhead in groups- small ones heading to other islands, larger commercial jets lifting nearly straight up to scale the mountains.

It is a joyous mix of sound, scent, and the heady feeling of having nothing to do but just this one thing- float, romp with the kids, nap in the sun.

We swim. And swim and swim. The kids screech and throw themselves in the water.

I break away and dive down deep.

And it all stops.

Noise becomes muted under the cupped blueness over me. The sun loses it's power. There is no scent. There is nothing but...peace.

And as I lie on the bottom, using my feet to keep myself still and feeling my body sink further and further toward a delicious lack of anything, God speaks.

This is what prayer should feel like.

A slip from this world to another, a passing through of all of the human things that occupy me.

A dive into God's presence, and resting there, open to it all.

This was so striking to me, this image. Because it can be so easy to be pulled to the surface into a world I am trying to shut out. Pulled up unwillingly into all of the human problems, small concerns, and aggravations of the day.

I go too easily back there. I am pulled too quickly away from the sacred spot that God occupies in my life- the small few minutes He wants me to give to Him, and the minutes I need. I rush to the surface within seconds to confront anything that interrupts my thoughts.

So what if I use this in my prayer life? What if I picture a great dive down, to the bottom of God's presence and to the stillness I crave, and the stillness that my soul needs to thrive in this world. A world I live and walk in, but a world I don't ultimately belong to?

So from now on I will picture the sun, the sand, the voices, the music, and the great sweeping dive beneath it all, into the cool shadowy blueness. Into the presence of love and grace and peace. The feeling of being held and taken away from the things of the world that distract from who I ultimately am.

Dive with me....