In second grade I memorized this poem by Robert Louis Stevenson:
When I was down beside the sea
A wooden spade they gave to me
To dig the sandy shore.
My holes were empty like a cup
In every hole the sea came up
Till it could come no more.
Every time I find myself on a beach, I recite this poem into the air, into the ears of grandchildren, or to gulls flying overhead. And it is true. When you dig a hole close enough to the water’s edge, the sea that is within the sand itself, rises to fill it.
On Saturday, Mom and I drove to NC for the day to visit Rebecca’s family. Mom had never been to their home and hadn’t seen her 3 great-grandchildren in several months. Our family has had its issues (Big surprise!) and have been blessed as we sought the Sea-Maker in overcoming them. We walked empty and hurting for too many years, not knowing the way of the Lord in healing. Over the past 2 years I (suddenly) see Him filling our emptiness! The broken, healed. The torn, repaired. What was betrayed, found trustworthy. Yielding, always yielding to Jesus.
I watched with awe and joy at my mother’s ease in making herself available to the little ones, sewing, walking through trees, and talking of supple branches ready to bloom. And are bare branches and empty holes the same? Aren’t they waiting? Longing for fulfillment?
We are a work in progress, a family of God’s strugglers, fixers, poor communicators, and actors. We have waited, sought the Greatest One who came inside to fill and heal and set us on our feet again, and we are … changed. We are being filled, like those empty holes on the shore, like those bare branches waiting for buds. Do you see it in the faces of young and old? There is hope within, like the life that waits inside the tree for seasons to spin round again, for life visible, callings and giftings never revoked to come into fullness.
Far from any ocean wave or shore, I watch as living water fills cups once empty. And I am thankful. So very thankful to the Healer. We walk with Him and the journey changes every heart, evidenced on every face, and life-giving water flows. Jesus fills empty cups.
Then your salvation will come like the dawn,
and your wounds will quickly heal.
The LORD will guide you continually,
giving you water when you are dry
and restoring your strength.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like an ever-flowing spring.
Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities.
Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls
and a restorer of homes. ~Isaiah 58:8, 11-12.
(c) Robin Lawrimore, March 2012