We are Waves on the Sea

“Much like the life of ordinary waves, we as human beings are gathered in our passion out of a larger home, that sea of infinite spirit, and propelled from an unfathomable depth, we mount and curl and crest and spray, only to subside back into that from which we come.

Profoundly, grace comes to the wave when it realizes what it is made of. Since it has risen from the very same water into which it will crash, its fear of ending is somehow lessened. For it is already a part of where it is going.

Grace comes to the heart when it realizes what it is made of and what it has risen from. In that moment, grace comforts us, that no matter the joy or pain along the way, we are already a part of where we are going.”

According to poet Mark Nepo, grace is the experiential realization of reassuring peace. Grace is the comforting awareness that all is well and will be well because we are never apart from that of which we consist; we are always one, both individually and collectively, with the Spirit that enlivens us as we “mount and curl and crest and spray.”

Like waves, we are momentary manifestations of that from which we emerge and to which we will return. We have our own shape and form, our own unique personality and physicality, but we come out of a “larger home,” a spiritual font that remains often undetected as we go about the day-to-day business of being, in the words of Pulitzer Prize winning author Annie Dillard, “a faint tracing on the surface of mystery.”

Many of us are afflicted with a kind of spiritual amnesia, a lack of awareness of our deepest identity – our oneness with that which is our essence. When in this state of self-estrangement, we are likely to find ourselves aimlessly adrift, relentlessly searching for we know not what. But just as grace comes to the wave when it realizes what it is made of, so reassuring peace can come to us when we stop long enough to realize that we are one with the “sea of infinite spirit.”

It is no easy task to stop or even to slow the busy pace of our lives. It takes intentionality and discipline to set aside time to breathe in the mystery of our wave-like existence. But unless we make room for grace, our lives will be less than graceful, and unless we make opportunities to recall that we are “a part of where we are going,” death will be understood only as the end of life rather than a homecoming.


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