Illahee, Wakes, and The Well
C2B Blog by Bob Hirtzel
One of our anniversaries, my wife, and I stayed at a bed-and-breakfast in Illahee, Washington, just North of Bremerton and their Naval Ship Yard. The bed-and-breakfast was right next to the water of “the Sound,” a name Northwest Washingtonians fondly call the expanse of waterways, inlets and bays collectively known as Puget Sound, or “the Sound,” all west of Seattle.
Sunday mornings Susie and I find ourselves in our church, however this particular Sunday morning, I made my way down to the rocky beach looking across the waterway to Bainbridge Island. It was an excellent place for my quiet time while an occasional boat passing by disrupted the soothing lapping sounds of the water upon the smooth silver dollar sized beach rocks. Both large and small boats paraded past. The large boats were the most impressive with the loud hum of their diesel engines. They also left the biggest wakes. Three times I had to jump back to avoid getting my new sneakers soaked as a wake rolled up the beach.
It was there, though, during my quiet time that the Lord spoke to me, saying, “Even small boats leave a wake.” I learned long ago to see things from the Lord’s perspective, so I paid close attention.
Back in the seventies, while attending post-graduate work, I volunteered as a live-in counselor for Austin Teen Challenge at The Well. I learned so much at The Well since most of my interactions included a brotherly fellowship from my peer age group and adept teaching from one of the few Presbyterian ordained evangelists, Rev. Dick Pickens. Dick founded and headed up Austin Teen Challenge at that time.
My four-year stay at The Well was not all that easy, though. One particularly challenging event propelled me to the third-floor chapel, “It’s so hard (to do), Lord!” I cried out, “It’s so hard!” Right away, without hesitation, I heard the Lord speak, “It was hard when I was here (on Earth) too.” Wow! That put things in perspective. He understood things were hard, especially when doing God’s will. His stay on Earth was the hardest of all. He had already faced my problem and cried my cry as the Son of God bearing his load, the ultimate load, for the sins of Mankind. We can, therefore, secure hope and strength from the scripture, “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light,” because He has gone before, and He knows the score. The effect His words had on me made a definite impression. I started to see things from His perspective. So, on the rocky beach, when I heard, “Even the small boats leave a wake,” I paid careful attention. I wondered if there was some hidden meaning in this meaningful phrase. Perhaps a double entendre.
Another instance continued to teach me to see things from God’s perspective. Once, while living in Austin, Texas, I was trying to take a right turn onto Lamar Boulevard headed North during rush hour. I waited and waited, and yet the cars kept coming and coming without let-up for what seemed like twenty minutes. I was trapped! Exasperated, I yelled, “Lord, what is going on here!” “Incarceration,” came the calm reply. I had never heard of the word “incarceration” and had no idea of its meaning. After looking up the definition of incarceration, I got the pun. My car and I were in jail until there was sufficient space to continue on my way up the Boulevard. A pun is an attempt at humor that exploits different possible meanings of a word. Some words also sound alike but have two entirely different meanings. These sound-alike words make easy puns. Typically, groaning is the result of punsters taking a stab at humor. Mercifully, the painful effect is over in a matter of seconds. The idea that the Lord makes puns is up for debate. However, two things were going on here, my reality of being stuck in traffic and the Lord’s vantage point of the situation. The Lord’s vantage point wins out every time.
It is rather challenging to see things from His point of view unless either He speaks to you, being typical in a relationship, from visions and dreams, or when you read his word in the Bible, and the Holy Spirit interprets the truth. The entire Lord’s Prayer is an example of prayer from the Lord’s point of view. Jesus had a unique point of view as the Son of God. After all, he knew the ultimate goal of redemption and restoration, “Thy Kingdome come, Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.” Perhaps believers should wear a T-shirt that says, “What’s going on in Heaven?” or a bumper sticker on their car saying, “How does God see things?”
The Lord’s words to me on Illahee’s beach were illuminating. I think I know what they are saying, but what do these words mean to you? Feel free to leave a comment.