Wholly Gratuitous

March 9, 2011 | 13 comments

Nature preaches sermons from pulpits of sky and ocean and terra firma every day. I stop too infrequently to hear the message — I mean, to really hear it, you know?

Maybe I was drawn today by the choir of a thousand gulls or the thunderous voice of the preacher: the sea. He won’t stop preaching. And this is both a whisper and a shout.

All day and night, his voice sprays with ceaseless praise in tidal swells.

At church, I usually sit left side, third row from the back. But this morning, I march right down the sandy aisle, barefoot, to find a place along a gray line of foam closest to the pulpit. I want a front-row seat to majesty.

I taste salt, feel words twist like seaweed around my immovable feet.

Clouds lope across the heavenly dome, like breezy banners decorating a sanctuary. And the sun is one giant candle, an endless flame rising above the vista.

I can’t see any end to it. Can’t fathom the renewable source that keeps pushing water this way, now toward me — one human standing on the rim of creation.

It’s wholly gratuitous.

I sink deeper into sand, deeper into grace.

I’m smitten with creation. Even more? I am smitten with the Creator, in whom and for whom all things were created.

Last photo: Y for Yahweh.

by | March 9, 2011 | 13 comments


  1. contented sparrow

    oh, how i'm smitten right alongside you, jennifer!!!!
    may you continue to see Him in IT ALL!

  2. Krista

    I am memorizing that "in whom and for whom all things were created" passage in Colossians right now. it's a brain-twister!

    I have always seen God most clearly in nature. nature really does shout homage to the divine from the treetops to the wavecaps.

    I am smitten with your photos. thank you for sharing today.

  3. Shaunie @ Up the Sunbeam

    Wholly Wonderful Jennifer!! You have captured the wonder and reverence and joyful awe that God's revelation of Himself in His creation always produces in me too. Like a breath of fresh air for me this morning–thank you so much!!

  4. Chris Godfredsen

    Doxology time, friend!

    Praise God from Whom all blessings flow…

  5. Chris Godfredsen

    Doxology time, friend!

    Praise God from Whom all blessings flow…

  6. Kathleen Overby


  7. Tabitha

    This was peace personified Jennifer!

  8. Duane Scott

    Which beach are you at?

    Awesome post as usual!

  9. Charity Singleton

    Oh, do have fun. So glad to know you are soaking up this trip!

  10. Nancy

    I want to be at the beach with you with toenails painted and wearing my toe ring, breathing in that lavish, gratuitous salt air right alongside you! Thank you for taking me there. And you're right–nothing but ceaseless, majestic grace.

  11. Beth.. One Blessed Nana

    ahhh… love this post and i can hear the ocean praising our Creator now!

  12. lynnmosher

    Ahhh…majestic and peaceful! {{{sigh}}}

  13. Jennifer

    I thought of you and Yaweh the other day–but didn't have my camera. I was driving down the road and saw a plane's contrails had made a "Y" in the sky. I was so excited that my small toddlers thought I had lost it. 🙂


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