I can’t stop watching a kite surfer out in the water. The white-capped waves roar way up the beach, where they only break when a storm is coming. It looks as rough as it did before Hurricane Sandy. He should come in, I think. It’s too dangerous and no one’s protecting him.
He struggles ashore, drops the shoulder harness that holds his sail, and strides towards four children in the cabana below ours. The father hugs the youngest, grabs a handful of chips, tells a joke, then instructs the oldest who’s watching the rest of the brood.
He stares warily at the pounding surf. Did he just look to the heavens? Don’t go back out, I will him. Pack it up for today. But he hefts the sandy harness onto his shoulder, grabs his board, and launches into the sea for another bruising round. Faithful. Dogged. Brave.
When I read the psalmist’s lines about seeking God, who delivered me from all my fears, this kite surfer comes to mind. Most of us retreat on dreary days, packing up our belongings, vowing to try again on a more peaceful occasion. But my surfer, and the psalmist, suggest a way to live that’s born from knowing a greater power is on his side. I look back and see him still aloft, grinning and riding those brutal waves.
Loading up my car, I notice his truck has “9/11: Never Forget” stickers on the bumper and the FDNY insignia in the rear window. The firefighting kite surfer and the psalmist learning to fear only God inspire me to try something new today, to take a risk as the threatened rain begins to fall.
When has trusting in God led you to live with more joy and less fear?
God, I trust in you. May faith lead me to live radiantly. Amen.