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The Beach


      One morning on a sunny, muggy, lazy summer day, my friend and I drove to a beach. Not having gone to a beach in several years, I was filled with anticipation! We decided to drive in the direction of Newport, Rhode Island, because it was said to have beautiful beaches.
       After driving for an hour, we finally found a beach! Feeling the heat and humidity swelter already at 10:30 am, we both were eager to jump into the cool ocean water! We unpacked our towels and chairs and settled on the shore. It was initially a pleasant surprise that there was no admission to this beach. However, as I scanned the shore, with dismay, I saw no life guards, restrooms or showers, the sand was coarse and stony and there was a slight stale, fishy odor in the air. I remarked to my friend that since we had already driven an hour, it would be nice to find a beach with more facilities.
       Despite our impatience to jump into the cool, refreshing water, we packed up our towels and chairs and continued our search for a beach. We did not have to wait too long, as our search was rewarded, as we found a beach with clean, fresh air, fine sand, life guards, restrooms and showers. Of course, the admission for parking was also $20 and there were many people there. We set up our chairs and towels on the sand, reveling in the sight of the clear, blue sky and the ocean, with its waves and white foam, stretching out to the horizon.
       In order to protect myself from sunburn, I donned a long white T-shirt, over my long bathing suit and we waded into the chilly water, where there were lots of high waves and surf (and people with surf boards). I enjoyed several hours of playing in the surf and waves. Sometimes, it was possible to float on top of the waves, as they thundered by. However, when they crested, it was necessary to “jump” over them or endure them crashing. They were relentless—no sooner had one wave passed, but another came. It was necessary to be ready for each one, or else be knocked under the water, possibly head over heels. It reminded me of life and the need to be vigilant and recover from each of life’s “waves”, to prepare for the next one.
       While in the ocean, we were aware of lots of tiny red seaweed, and immediately my T-shirt was covered with red seaweed. In fact, as I filled my T-shirt “skirt” with sea water and let it drain (like a net), the shirt was filled with red seaweed. When I finished swimming several hours later, I was embarrassed that the white T-shirt was completely covered by red seaweed. The seaweed was not visible on other bathers, as it didn’t seem to stick on either bathing suits or skin. Also, it was not visible in hair, but I later was combing large clumps of this seaweed out of my hair.
       Just as the red seaweed was painfully obvious on the white T-shirt, so is sin grotesquely obvious before the purity and holiness of God. Thankfully, the seaweed was washed off finally in the shower, with soap, just as we need God’s soap, the cleansing of Yeshua’s (Jesus) sacrificial blood to cleanse sin from our souls.