Nearly everyone old enough to read has heard the phrase “pictures are worth a thousand words.” It’s why my phone, laptop and iPad comprise a monument-sized library within the folders marked “Photos.” But there are times when the Lord gives us a snapshot that a thousand words would only diminish the meaning.
As my husband and daughter were being fit with life jacket’s for a boat ride with a friend, I leaned against a wobbly, chipped paint railing and looked out across the saltwater bay in Castine, Maine. The winds had died down to a near whisper, sail boats had anchored, and the lobster boats had docked for the night. The only sounds I heard were the guys in the boatyard behind me talking about fishing, plans for the weekend and repairs needed to a couple of boats up on hoists. An Osprey swooped down, skated the water in front of me then launched skyward empty-clawed towards his nest nearby.
Then silence. Total silence. I didn’t hear a footstep on the dock, a sailor’s voice, a slap of water against a boat, nor a bird in the air. The water in front of me was a near solid glaze of mirror reflecting anything directly above it. The picture I took above was moments later because I was frozen in the silence as well.
His thoughts came to me, “My peace I give to you, not as the world gives. Don’t let your heart be troubled nor afraid Shannon. When your soul rests in My peace, like this water, you will reflect Me more clearly to all who gaze on your life.” The Lord tenderly spoke His words fromJohn 14:27 while I stared at creation giving me an illustrated sermon. Then in my heart, I felt a stillness and a peace those thousand words can’t describe.
I never knew how noisy and turbulent my soul had become. My thoughts constantly churning with the winds of “what-ifs” about the days ahead, while a strong undertow of sorrow over loved ones hurting and issues in the ministry kept pulling me under. If my soul could’ve been seen in creation, you would’ve seen boats teetering back and forth, waves splashing with whitecaps, and conditions resembling that of a storm.
My heart spoke back to the Lord, “Father, I want my life and soul to reflect the God that hovers directly over my life. I want to mirror the reality of heaven above and the Prince of Peace that lives within. I never knew this contentment and security in heart until You breathed life in me. Please subdue all that is not of You and may Your perfect love cast out all this fear.” Then I thought of Psalm 23 and our Great Shepherd Jesus, Who leads us to still waters and restores our soul. He was busy restoring this night…and then I jumped,
“MOMMY! Let me have Amos back!” I smiled as I returned a heart-patched teddy bear to my little one…then climbed aboard a ship that road the glass as though no waves existed.