Time and Tide



They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light.

Revelation 22:5

Copyright © 2011 by James P. Long | Faith and Imagination

I stand on the breakwater and the waves are angry. The shadow of the swell races toward me. I watch as wave after wave lifts and curls, the gray face of the troubled sea reflecting the storm clouds overhead.

The surf rises in fury, then slams the breakwater in an explosion of salt spray. The tide ebbs and the stones shed water, the waves retreat like an army pulling back to regroup. White froth hisses against the rock and slides away into the sea. The incoming breaker gathers the receding foam — the ebbing tide — gathers it, churns it, tosses it onto the stones once again.

Over and over, restless and relentless, wave after wave rises and falls, rises and falls, year after year after year until, in time, the very stones crumble and dissolve.

My breath rises and falls, minute by minute, month after month, into the years. My heart circulates life-blood like the ever-renewing rhythm of the waves — heartbeats marking hours and seasons and decades.

Someday all this will cease. Life will wear down the body as certainly as surf erodes rock and stars extinguish themselves. Someday even the waves will cease, and time will stop, and eternity will dawn, and we will swim in an ocean of endless light.