Christian writer, speaker Leigh Delozier shares her experience the day the clouds stood still when she walked on the beach in Charleston, S.C.
BEACH WALKING WITH GOD
It’s a beautiful spring day, and I’m walking on the beach in Charleston, SC, with friends while we enjoy a girls’ weekend away from the world. The sun is already warming things up and the sky is bluer than blue, even though there are a lot of clouds trying to cover it up. But they’re pure, white clouds with no rain in sight – it’s just the right setting for a lazy day together.
The sand is flat and packed down perfectly for walking. Countless shells lie half-buried near the water. So many colors, so many shapes, so many designs. Seeing things like that reminds me just how creative God really is.
Waves curl and roll up and back, up and back, depositing new shells while they steal away others. Where did the shells come from? How far have they traveled? How many beaches have they washed up on, only to be pulled back into the salty depths before someone could rescue them and admire their beauty?
Sometimes the crash of waves almost drowns out our conversation. One friend and I talked this morning about the passage in Revelation that says Christ’s voice was like the rushing waters. She thinks the ocean is like God talking. I’ve never thought of it like that before, but like the idea.
We reach a place where the sand changes hardness and lots of shell bits crunch beneath our bare feet. I head to the left of the shells and my friends split off to the right, closer to the water. Now I can’t hear anything they’re saying, so enjoy the time alone to soak everything in.
I tilt my head back to look at the sky. The clouds are every shape and size imaginable – they remind me of fuzzy cotton balls, lumpy white potatoes, and streaks of cotton batting stretched across the sky. But one cloud looks different to me. It’s one fluffy blob surrounded by bright blue sky, all by itself. Streaks of other clouds look like they’re shooting out from it at all angles, like rays from a bright summer sun.
As soon as I see it, I think, “That’s like me.” The cloud is me, with all of life around me. The world is always shifting and changing just like the clouds. I can either float along and keep my own identity or merge with the others and be just like them. I don’t want to always be like everyone else.
The streaks shooting out are the ways I touch the world – the things I do, the words I say, the impressions I leave whether I realize it or not. They reach much further than I think.
And all around me is the big picture – God and His plan for me, always there, shifting to remind me of His presence and accommodating my ventures on – and off – His course.
All these thoughts go through my mind in a flash – just quick impressions. I know I’ll sit and sift through them later and try to figure out the message God might be trying to teach me.
As I write this, I wonder where those clouds are now, hours later. Are they still traveling down the Atlantic coast, halfway to Florida? How long did they keep that formation before shifting into countless other patterns on their journey? Did anyone else look up and see them and think they were seeing something special? Or was this a moment just for me, when God took the time to suspend nature and draw my attention to it so I could be reminded of my place in His universe, and how incredibly awesome He is?
To anyone else, it was probably just a collection of clouds skittering across the sky. But for some reason, it was more than that for me that day. Even now, years later, I can still see those clouds and feel the sand under my sunburned feet. I’ll never know why God chose to reach down and share those seconds with me, but I’ll always be grateful He did.
To learn more about Leigh visit her Web site at http://www.leighdelozier.com/