I stand on the edge of the ocean without moving.
The four are running around like crazy people; no path to follow, no agenda to keep. They just run for the joy of running.
I stand with the salty spray on my face, while Tony entwines his fingers slowly through mine.
There is a house here, on the beach, that fascinates me – that I turn to whenever we return to this place. It’s foundation is on the sand and I can’t help but wonder if it will ever fall.
And then, what happens when it does?
Before I got up from my desk to prepare for a morning of schooling, I opened up to John 21. It’s this chapter that Tony keeps whispering over me in the dark and the tears.
I needed to read it again.
Surrounded by hills and the wind that winds through a valley miles away from the mighty Pacific, I close my eyes to imagine the waves that Peter threw himself into, just to reach his Savior.
The desperation that pushed past all shame and fear, just to be near the One who loved him.
I think of all the times I read over this account without really seeing or knowing and I wonder how I could have been so callous, so blind.
Reckless Peter, imperfect disciple…broken man.
He stands before the risen Jesus – this Jesus who in his glory and majesty, with love and compassion, has made this weary, broken man breakfast.
Who does this?
Who loves like this?
Who takes betrayal and shame and stupidity and meets it with compassion and mercy and grace?
Jesus. Only Jesus.
And in turn, the ones who have been changed by His holy love.
There is a line, right before Jesus pulls Peter aside…right before He restores Peter and turns his betrayal around by grace that caught my eye this morning.
Right after Peter plunges himself into the waters to reach Jesus, gets to the beach and sees fish and bread laid out on the charcoal fire, Jesus says to this denying disciple,
“Bring some of the fish you’ve just caught,” Jesus told them. So Simon Peter climbed up and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish – 153 of them. Even though there were so many, the net was not torn. John 21:10-11
I think the in-between moment would have been the most frightening – unsure of where he stood with Jesus…would Jesus turn him away? Would his betrayal have been too great for the Son of God? Would he always be reminded of his failure? It was here that Jesus calls for some of the catch to be brought – even though He had already provided the breakfast – and invites broken Peter to be a part of the provision.
It is almost as though Peter wanted to bring it all – this man who never did anything halfway – Bring some? There is 153 – I’ll bring it all…
I think that there is healing in this – in the naming of the undeserved mercies that He gives us each day – in the middle of all that He provides, He provides even more and invites us to come to Him and join in with what He has given.
Is this how we rebuild and heal, laying each act and gift of His grace, one on top of the other?
- slow mornings
- my green chair and a good book
- Lyla’s determination to get a Ball Python
- Mr. Bob
- unexpected Date Night with my Tony
- slow dancing with him on a street corner
- the way he loves and forgives
- Hosea 14 – going through the whole book at church
- walks in the canyon
- dark storm clouds
- the faithfulness of Christ, even when everything seems to press in heavily
- the way God provides for Madison House needs
- Tony’s prayer for joy in all circumstances
- how he places his head over my heart to fall asleep
- waking up with hope
- today’s reading in Nehemiah
- the reminder I have been brought out and to stand firm