Thursday, November 1, 2012

Explode My Soul

We returned home from a vacation to Ocean Isle Beach just in time for hurricane Sandy to hit the East Coast.  In the weeks prior to leaving, I had a sense of foreboding.  Something big was about to happen, and I questioned in my spirit if we should go.  God gave me peace and the energy to pack.

The weather couldn't have been more beautiful.  Sunny days in the 70's and water still warm enough to swim.  Locals told us we picked the perfect week to come. A crowd welcomed us to the island.  It was the 32nd Annual North Carolina Oyster Festival.  We visited Pelican's Perch for bowls of award winning chowder and were blessed in talking with Congressional candidate David Rouzer whose grandfather founded a town in our state.
Maybe it was because the girls weren't with us (which I lamented!)  And maybe it was because Someone bigger than us knew we needed a break.  In either case, we were grateful, and had one of the most relaxing vacations ever.
A ferry ride and tour of Bald Head Island, kayaking, bicycling, shopping for a birthday gift and celebrating with cake and ice cream after, eating meals together, watching wildlife from our deck and waking up early to see the sunrise, movie night with The Hatfields and McCoys and popcorn until the wee hours of the morning...all this and more, and it was hard to say good-bye.  
Saturday came, and we pulled out, the island appearing to be deserted except for the cry of gulls and a few lights from those battening the hatches.  During the ride home we prayed, hoping the storm would spin back out to sea.

It rained the whole way into Pennsylvania.  We were glad to be home.  In a stack of mail I found CD's, ones I ordered a month earlier from a distribution company, hoping to take them with me to the beach.  There had been a mix-up, and an apology.  The artists refunded my payment and sent the CD's personally with a their gift.

Through the storm I listened, the beauty of the music catching me up into high places where fear and hopelessness don't exist.  I was amazed at how easily I could go back to OIB in my thoughts and remember how I saw the Creator everywhere...
...swimming with a school of dolphins

...walking the sands at dawn

 .. exploring wynds on a tropical island...

...eating a meal together with loved ones
 ...admiring creation through the windows of a century old lighthouse...

 ...riding high the wind and waves and sun

...catching breath as fish flash like silver in the moonlight
...finding delight in a bush full of butterflies

...swaying to the dance of wildlife surrounding...

...resting under cottony clouds hung from the bluest of skies...

...watching the sun rise...and rest...all glorious and golden...

...soaking it all in, and knowing our God, He is good...

...and his love endures forever. 

As I listened to Jonathan and Melissa, my spirit flew like a bird and my soul danced with the violins, and I knew God was here now, even in the storm.

I saw Him standing strong as a lighthouse in the mountains as we journeyed to our promised land, and looming just as majestically in the gray on the trek home, trees once color-splashed in splendor and crowned with the glory that comes in dying now silent, cold and bare.
I saw Him looking out through the eyes of people I met along the way, brown-skinned and wrinkled and freckled and fair, all inviting me be one with Him...the very One whose Spirit lives inside...and to feel His love oozing into empty sand squishing between the toes.

I saw Him in the letting go...of my need to stay hidden, to be strong...of my fear of being exposed.  Storms have a way of doing that.  Of shaking what can be shaken, and unearthing what cannot stay hidden.  Self-preservation only holds us captive, keeps us from truly living. 
But in the letting go, our souls explode, and we fly free!  

I can still hear Him these songs by Melissa and all of creation and its groaning, in the people and things we encounter daily, in the beauty of life's colors and in the pounding of storms:

It's time to wake up sons and daughters.  Shake the dust from your feet and stand.  Great grace has been given...the kind that moves mountains and makes a way for you to walk across the sands.  There is so much more of what I have planned for the here and now...and in the days yet to come!  Don't stop now.  It's a new day.  And you've only just begun.

Be blessed, friends!

From On the Shores by David and Melissa Helser:

(Before listening, you may want to pause the SoundClick to the right of this blog!)

Explode My Soul 
by Melissa and David Helser


Whisper my name so only I can hear
Call to my heart, chase away my fears
Stand up in this place, fight for the one you love
Won't you come surround me, so I can rise above
Explode my soul, let these walls come down
All these prison thoughts crumble with the sound
Of my deliverance from my enemies
I stand up beside you, let's watch these giants flee
Let the silence be broken, and the winter be done
Will you come out of your hiding, kiss me sweet warm sun
Let the wind of your spirit blow the dust off my feet
I ran to you broken but now I'm complete
Hello Promised Land, we've waited for so long
To see what we've believed in, to sing this Promised Land song
Explode my soul, explode with praise
What he promised is what he gave