Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Unlike any other

"all the fish of the sea"
Genesis 9:2

We didn't have one of those snazzy underwater cameras, so these are from the aquarium a few years later.

My family went to Kauai in 2006, and one of my strongest memories from that trip is the time we spent snorkeling.  I was completely unprepared for how amazing it was.  We had bought the gear ahead of time, so that we and the kids could get used to using it, and we'd all been practicing in my folks' pool.  And I was a little worried, cuz it's hard to get used to that thing in your mouth, and not being able to breathe through your nose.  But once I got in the ocean, I totally forgot about all my discomfort.  It was awe-inspiring to be right in the midst of the fish.  They went whizzing past my head ~ right by my head!  And they totally ignored me as they swam by, or picked at the ocean floor, doing whatever it is fish do.  I was entranced.

The fish were so beautiful, in colors and patterns and combinations I had never imagined.  I mean, I've seen Jacques Cousteau, I watch the Discovery Channel, but nothing prepares you for actually seeing it.  All the beauty and colors and complexity I have appreciated all my life, in butterflies and birds, are the in the ocean, too, and I was almost overwhelmed.

It frustrated me a little that I couldn't share it more with my husband, or my sister, but you can't very well say, "Ooh!  Look!" or "What a gorgeous color!" when you've got that thing in your mouth.  So after awhile my sister and I developed a sort of code.  We had been holding hands so neither of us would drift off, and we decided one squeeze would mean, "I've got to surface," and two squeezes would mean, "Look where I'm pointing."  But my sister told me that I was so excited, that I was just constantly and violently squeezing her hand.

Then, when we did surface, we would have conversations like:

"Did you see that striped one?"
"No, I was looking at the one with the blue diamond shapes; did you see that one??"
"Well, I saw one with purple shapes; you mean that one?"

And I found that even though we were in the same place, doing the same thing, we still weren't quite sharing the same experience.  So I became content to share the experience to the fullest, with the only One who truly understood.  God knew which fish I was looking at; He knew which way I was going to be looking next, and He knew exactly how I felt about what I was experiencing.  I simply relaxed and floated along, not even directing my movement, but letting His ocean, and His waves take me to see more of His fish.

Later in the summer, I was having dinner with two friends, and one of them was talking about some TV show she'd seen that did a piece about unusual medical conditions.  She mentioned a condition I had never heard of, but when she described it, I said in surprise, "I have that!"  I never knew it had a name.  It's synesthesia, which I've described here before, and it enables me to see letters and numbers in colors.  My friends, after finding this out, were quizzing me on the colors of the days of the week.  "What color is Friday?"  And I said, "It's kind of a greeney-whitey color."  And my friend said, "Isn't that just light green?"  And I said, "Well, no, cuz it's all very speckledy."  But then when I relayed this conversation to my sister, she said, "Well, it's not so much speckledly as blobby."  So even though we both totally understand each other ~ way more than anyone else ~ we don't even totally understand each other!

I began to realize that these two experiences are like my relationship with Jesus.  My Bible study, my prayers, my worship, are for me.  It's about my growth; my walk; my becoming more like Him.  And that's a beautiful thing; just like ~ but totally different than ~ your beautiful thing.

~ "I am His workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus for good works,
which God prepared beforehand,
that I should walk in them." ~
Ephesians 2:10

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