This morning I took a walk on the beach. The sun was bright and warm on my skin which was a much needed contrast from the brisk wind that almost took my breath. The sand was powdery white and felt like heaven under my feet. The water from the sea was crisp but it woke my insides up as it made contact with my skin. The ocean is where I feel the most alive. The most connected. It is my place.
My soul is refreshed at the ocean.
I am renewed.
The last several months have been hard for so many people. The feelers of the world are struggling (we are feeling all the feels right now.) Our country is more divided than ever. Instead of being used to connect people, social media has become a platform for debate and argument, which has led to disconnection. People are drawing lines in the sand… “What side are you on?”
I have been occupying this strange space as of late. It’s a lonely space. I do believe a lot of people are in this same space but we have been quiet (for the most part). I have been sitting back watching the division worsen. People on both sides of the political lines aligning themselves with fear, anger, and hatred. Because of the fear, anger, and hatred people have become very close minded and unable to see things from another perspective let alone engage in healthy conversation.
This morning as I was walking down the beach and around the bend at the end of the island, I walked up onto a large group of people facing inland combing through tons of seashells that had washed up during the night. Their backs were to the water.
For a moment I was looking down at the ground to see whatever everyone else was looking at when something caught my attention…
While everyone was looking down, totally focused on the shells at their feet, they were missing a large school of dolphins playing right behind them.
I ran into the water and walked out into the school (or pod) of dolphins. At one time I counted six different dolphins swimming around me. They would come up so close to me that I could reach out and touch them. I could hear them breathing. It was an AMAZING moment for me. After what seemed like forever the dolphins went on their way. I turned to look behind me as I started to walk back towards the sand and everyone was still squatted down looking at the sea shells with their backs towards the water.
I sat there for a moment processing what I just experienced.
What if I would have just “followed the crowd” and remained focused on just that one spot?
I would have totally missed that magic moment when I heard the breath of a dolphin from no more than 5 feet away from me… I would have missed the thrill of sharing the space something absolutely magnificent.
As I sat and thought about all that could have been missed if I wouldn’t have looked beyond what I was able to see at my first glance, I was filled with gratitude.
Through the years God has helped me by teaching me in every circumstance to look for another perspective; to think about things from every angle, to ask questions, to try to understand.
This gift has helped me remain open minded. I understand that there is always more than one side to every story there is never just one perspective. When we take the time to understand someone else’s’ perspective we make room for love, grace, and mercy. God is not worried about who is “right” He is concerned with our hearts. He wants us to flow in love, mercy, and grace for one another giving each other the benefit of the doubt and to be willing to see things from another perspective. Realizing that your perspective may not be the “only” right way.
In this time in history we need to be slow to anger…
We need to be quick to forgive…
We need to flow with love, mercy, and grace…
We need to look past what we see with our first glance and ask God to help us see things from another perspective.
Maybe next time you are hyper focused on what is in front of you God will nudge you to turn your glance… maybe you will have one of the most amazing experiences of your life.