I wish I were at the beach. Alone. Nothing but me, an endless sky, an unfathomable sea, and miles and miles of sand. And all things of the sea washing up in breathtaking, breaking waves, some of them touching my feet.
I am unbearably sad.
Maybe on the beach I'd find myself a rock to sit on. And because I didn't take anything, for a while I'd be as salty as the water, thinking that I should have brought a book. And then I'd think of daddy. And having no food to eat my weight in complex carbohydrates with, I'd just sit there, watching the water move.
Mavbe I'd stay alone for a long time. Sometimes solitude is good for the soul. But I wouldn't want to be there too long. Not long enough to drown in my sorrows. I'd just like to visit with them for a while.
Maybe Jesus would come to me. He'd be wearing His dark overcoat over his jeans and long-sleeved t-shirt. His hair tousled by the wind. Looking cold and forlorn. Maybe He'd gaze at me with those warm brown eyes. Those heartbreaking, sad eyes of His. Maybe He'd be wearing one of those WWJD bracelets and maybe that would surprise me, so when He finally sits down next to me, I give the bracelet a gentle tug and say, "What's that all about?"
"I wear it to keep me on my toes."
I'd laugh, and maybe Jesus would root around the pocket of His overcoat until He found something for me. A bracelet. It says, WWCMD?
My laughter rises and swells like the water about us, and He laughs at the sound. "So," He says, "What would Claudia Mair do?"
"And what else."
"I'd get around to talking to you once I finished tormenting myself."
He nods. Encourages me to go on.
"Why isn't this easier?" I say. "Why is it so hard to just be human."
"I found it hard," He says, "And I'm God."
I turn to Him. "Remember when you said, 'My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?' Did you really mean it?"
"I'm not one to exaggerate."
"Sometimes I feel like God is so far. And I'm afraid to admit that."
"That's why I let there be a record of it. I wanted you to know on days like these it really is hard to be human, and that feeling forsaken by your father is as bad as it sounds."
I take his arm. His words have excited me. "Is that what I feel? Forsaken by my father?"
But He doesn't answer me. He stands. "Don't stay out here too long." And then He leaves me. Alone.
Maybe I'd sit there a little longer, even though it's cold. Maybe I'd let the wind whip through my hair and redden my ears and nose. But don't stay out there too long. Asthma. The cold air in my lungs could cause problems.
Maybe the things that Jesus didn't say are as meaningful as the things He does.
And maybe I'd trudge on back. Away from the beach. Away from the choppy, endless waters going further than my eyes can trace. Maybe the sand would cling to my shoes. Maybe before I'd leave, I'd grab a sand dollar or sea shell to remember the day. And maybe I'd take that shell and put it on my altar.
And maybe, when I light my candle, and place my shell beside it, and think on Jesus saying, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me..." Maybe I'll remember that His story had a happy ending, and that Jesus would ultimately reign forever with His father.
I'd settle for an eternity with jazz, and good coffee, and a quiet spot to sit and listen to daddy's stories.
Maybe, that's exactly what I'll get.
Update: Daddy was mostly unconscious while we were there. He'd just had a surgical procedure to put a tube in his throat to help him breath, as the ventilator through his mouth was a temporary solution. For just moment he seemed to recognize me and my sister, but he was unable to communicate with us. More on this later.
Will you continue to pray for him?