This takes up a big space in my memory holder, the one that holds the childhood treasures. The box where the heart can go and pull out a piece of memory here and there and sit at the feet of dreamy rememberance. The tender box of storage where being a child and learning of life are safely tucked away to look back on with eyes of a seasoned life. With new eyes. With new understanding. On what it is we were learning. And how gently we often learn of the hard. How tenderly He teaches us of the difficult.
When I grabbed my phone and read the email, the memories began to flood a bit.
We spent hours water skiing. Together. So she speaks a language of the familiar when she asks, I was wondering if you’d consider writing a poem about crossing the wake.
A google search of crossing the wake reveals the technical best way to approach this journey across. And some of the words and phrases are important. I remember. If you have never skiied, you will remember too.
You remember the moments of relaxing, absorbing, committing without hesitation, and balancing.
About dot com Waterskiing will tell you “One of the scariest things facing a beginning slalom water-skier is having to cross what seems like a huge mound of water behind the boat, better known as the wake. In order to be a successful water-skier, you must tackle the wake head on.”
And she was thinking back, now in her 40’s to the times in her childhood when she did. And she is now. And she knew that I knew tackling head on what seems like a huge mound. A mound worth the crossing. A challenge ripe with reward in the victory. And a life of Joy on the other side.
About dot com continues in its tutorial “…your ski and body must point towards the direction you want to go. Face the wake head on. …Remember to take it slow in the beginning, and as your confidence level increases, so will your ability to tackle the wakes.”
But when we cross over by way of the Cross, we have the love of Jesus there in two directions. The vertical beam of the cross, tethering us to the Father’s love and mercy. And we have the horizontal beam of the cross, tethering us to a community of believers, sisters in Christ to walk across the mounds with us. Never alone. Always going by way of the cross is the way of Love. Braced and bound, secure and safe. Crossing by way of His painful sacrifice. Relying on His Love, His arms extended crossing each difficult place before us and with us.
And there at the foot a place to lay down fear and doubt.There a repository for the junk that keeps us paralyzed by unknowing outcomes. There a place to lean into Him for strength beyond our own, helping us gain and keep our balance. There a place to stay upright, braced by His love.
Holding the tow rope of our youth, we know the safety and security of that strong nylon rope, connecting us to the power of the motorboat. And we learn to bend our knees, to absorb the bumps of the rocky wake, and lean into the moment of crossing out from the smooth into the rocky. And the wind in our face, muscles and tendons working, heart racing, we look out and see, not the back of the boat, but rather a whole different line of sight from over in the chop. And brave returns. And fear is diminished. And Joy moves into that moment.
The infertility, the bankruptcy, the marriage problems, the adoption of children, the pain of friends, the death of family, the trauma of loss, they are covered by the cross. They are covered and wrapped in His love. And his child is safely tethered to Him, the source of all power and love. And He redeems the hurt. And stills the rough waters. For us. Whom He loves. For us. He bends down and into our lives. Helping us guiding us.
In Love, by way of the cross.
So that crossing the wake is a place of partnership with Him and a community of believers. It is not a lonely skiier on a single slalom ski, behind a boat. But rather a child of Father God walking the rough spots with exhilaration and courage with a boat load of His love. And legion of fellow Jesus followers loving us through the rough and choppy. Drying us off, massaging our sore and tender spots, placing a balm, a salve on the blisters, and loving us through the journey through to the other side.
We cross by way of the cross. We cross with sisters in Christ. We cross with Him and into Him and because He went before. We cross because He has plans and adventure and marvelous abundant life waiting to be lived.
We go through the doubt and unknowing.
Because we know the one thing that matters. We are loved and we are His.
And there was and there is a beautiful cross.