We were finishing up our day at the beach, and my kids and I were taking the sand toys down to the water to rinse them off. An older gentleman stopped to admire the large hole my kids and their friends had forged in the break line of the waves. He and his wife had been strolling along, enjoying the afternoon breeze.
He started up a conversation with me- chatting about growing up in New Hampshire, the temperature of the Atlantic vs. the Pacific, and how strange it was in winter as a child, to stand on the edge of the ocean which was under snow. Nothing extraordinary stuck out in conversation, but I thought him a doll, amiably rambling to a stranger on the beach. His wife came over and started to pull him away. He resisted, chatting about his grown children, and then began to briefly share about his wife giving birth almost 20 years ago on the interstate highway.
“Maybe you heard about it…we were almost to Disneyland, heading to the hospital…
My mouth dropped open with intrigue,”Really?!”
“STOP TAAAALLLLKING!” My attention was immediately turned towards the wife who had just yelled at her husband while pushing him backwards in the sand. She continued on with the story. He interrupted again.
“WILL YOU STOP IT?! YOU TALK TOO MUCH!” She picked up the story back where she had dropped it.
I felt like I was standing smack in the middle of a practical joke. My mouth fell open, and my eyes were wide. I listened to what she was saying, but I was thinking she was a piece of work. Really? She feels a needs to yell at this poor guy, and on the beach in front of strangers?
He tried chiming back in again, “…and I prayed for a police officer, and when we looked up…there one was!”
“STOP TAAALLKKKING!” She gave this man another shove.
God spoke to me that afternoon. Yes, God can speak while your toes and children are covered with sand. While a woman yells, and while you glance at a plastic beach shovel being tumbled in frothy whitewater…I’m listening.
Isn’t that how we can be? Isn’t that how I can be? Hard of hearing when it comes to God’s voice? Anxious to be the one in charge? We can be so quick to get our point across…to possess the very last word, that we don’t hear the slightest whisper of the One who’s seen it all.
We want to tell our story. I personally like to watch the response to my words on your face. But, I fail to remember that this entire life was authored by another- One so great He keeps your tears. A story so grand it forever points to a kingdom far better. Nothing I have to say is as important as what He wants to speak to you. Nothing in the entire world is better than when He does.