Boat Encounters of the Best Kind
July 11, 2011The saying among boat people goes..."The best day in a person's life is the day someone buys a boat. The second best day in a person's life is the day when the boat is sold." Boats are a good news/bad news venture. (That the church is often visualized as a ship is therefore ironic!) Our good day with a boat was yesterday. The boat was a P-15 sailboat, beautiful little day-sailer with bright sails. It was perfect, except for one small detail. No one in our family really sails. Pity. So the boat was listed, thanks to Craig, and interest was fast and furious with calls flying before - during - and after church. Steve said no. Bill said he'd think about it. Then came Chris and Judy. The miracle of real encounter amazes me always. When almost immediate connection with people happens it is serendipitous blessing. Such connection has happened before in my life, when a stranger is known beyond knowing, beyond understanding. Such encounter is like stepping into a pool of holiness, a stream of delight that is the Living Christ. Such encounters over the years have renewed me and reminded me of Christ's words that "when two or three are gather, I am with you." With Fred and Debbie, Francesco, and most recently, Judy, I know that Christ is the only and essential connecting link - and in one case a P-15 sailboat. Henri Nouwen spoke of such encounter when he wrote, "When the Christ in you sees the Christ in me, the ground between us is holy ground." Holy ground is everywhere Christ is; it is what we stand on all day long. It is certainly where we were standing yesterday. So what is it that opens the heart to see the Christ in others and to share deeply a drink of the Spirit of God? What does it take for us to be truly open, expecting to meet Christ in others? Do we seek Christ more than Christ seeks us? I doubt it. Open heart and unveiled eyes are the beginning of the life that is real.... beyond knowing, beyond rationality, to pure union with God and in God. Where will you encounter Christ today? At the grocery store? At the gas station? In your own kitchen? Perhaps under red and orange sails in the river! Sail on, people of God. Don't be afraid of getting in the boat. Blessings to you all!