Monday, September 10, 2012

Write Your Sorrow in the Sand

Sometimes we receive messages from unexpected places, if we are open to them. Today, while shopping in a quaint little store in Orange Beach, AL, I stumbled upon a small, oval stone with a cross that said, "Write your sorrows in the sand and etch your blessings in stone." Brilliant. Something worth remembering.

Later in the evening, as the sun set slowly in the west, my friends and I carried three beach chairs down to the edge of the Gulf of Mexico and planted them firmly in the sand. We settled in for a nighttime view of the clear waters and schools of jumping manta rays as they passed. The waves crashed against the sand, sometimes quietly and gently and sometimes loudly and unforgiving. And as the evening wore on, the water flowed further inland, rushing over our feet and under our chairs.

Then I considered the message on the stone in the store earlier in the day. This isn't the first time I've heard the idea of ridding life of sorrows through some physical act. Releasing pain or disappointment or sadness in a tangible way can make it easier to let go of and can make it more real. I have heard you should write letters to those you are having trouble reaching face-to-face for whatever reason or who have caused you hurt or pain in the past and then burn the letters. It is a way to set your feelings free or to release them into the universe. I've heard others say you should pray and cast your cares on Jesus because He's there for you. So why not write your sorrows or sadness or the things that burden your heart in the sand and watch as the water washes them away.

So I grabbed a stick and started to write. Loneliness, sadness, the loss of my child... and more. One by one, I scratched them into the surface of the wet sand and waited for the tide to roll in and wipe the words away. And, one by one, the words that represented my sorrows disappeared, carried out into the vastness of the gulf.

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