I love going to the ocean. I love to hear the crashing of the waves. I love to feel the sand between my toes. I love to feel the sun beaming down on my face. I love to watch the birds fight against the wind as they journey off into the distance. My family made a tradition of visiting the beach every summer. We owned a small cottage on the far end of the beach where not many tourists would visit. My room faced the beach, so every morning, I was blessed to see the sunrise so beautifully over the ocean. I turned my bed so that I would feel its warmth and know when it was time to get up. Every morning the sun would peek from behind its satin blue covers and stretch forth his hands to brush my eyelids back. No one was more blessed than me to be able to know and to travel to where the sea ends every morning of every summer. At night, when all is calm, my dreams would be magical. On a distant shore I would start walking in the water. The waves would caress my knees, then my thighs, until it wrapped itself around my waist. Then it would seem to carry me off to where the sea ends. I would fly on the endless ripples and pass by many brightly-colored sea creatures. The eels were as green as St. Augustine grass grown in a national park. The dolphins were colored by the sky and kissed on each side by the clouds. Oh, and the fish! You should have saw them. Magenta, marigold, violet, and burnt orange are just some of the colors. All night long, my soul would glide among the waves. The waves would move up and down, lifting my head and massaging my feet, gently pulling me closer to where the sea ends. I would sometimes turn on my back to gaze into the heavens. Tears would escape from my eyes when I thought of how wonderful God was to allow me to go some place no one has gone before. Selfishly, I thought, God loves me more than anyone. Then a would notice a small spark in the heavens. It was time! I knew my journey was about to come to an end. I return to my stomach, stretch out my hands, close my eyes, pucker my lips, because I was about to kiss the sun. I was going to finally meet my one true friend that I had a chance to visit ever summer. It would call my name in the lowest of voices. Just a little above a whisper. "Jeremiah." I would hear, then my pucker would melt in my face, and my cheeks will sit next to my eyes. "Jeremiah." The melodious tone would soothe my soul, causing the anxiety to race my heartbeats faster every second. "Jeremiah." My eyes would peel back, and again I awoke just to see my best friend smile where the sea ends. When reality began to change my surroundings back to normal, I would always notice my mom at the end of the bed. She would always ask, "Jeremiah, are you dreaming again? About the sea?" "How do you know?", I asked in return. She said, "Because sun will always give you its glowing smile." Right then, I would smile even harder, and by a miracle, she would share a glowing smile with me. "Mom, will I always feel this happy!?", I asked. "Honey, as long as you dream of happy things and believe in all hopeful thoughts. Life sometimes give you some bad, but you should always remember and hope for the good. But whether or not you keep your smile is all up to you."
Times have changed now. I have grown older. Yes, my mom was right. Life does deal some bad hands. I no longer visit the ocean in the summer, because I am so busy. The past year, my mother passed away. I almost lost all of my money in a bad investment. I feel sometimes that things will never get better. I sit in my one-bedroom apartment wondering how my life will go on. I do not have the energy, the patience, the time, or the love anymore. When I feel that all hope and faith is completely drained out of my body, I will close my eyes. No time for dreams, I think, because I am exhausted with the day's activities. No time for prayer, I imagine, because my spirit is weary from worries. The tears would burn like acid rivers down my face.
What do I do? What have I become? What will become of me? Life will never get better than this! I need to change, but how? Lord, help me! Please, make me numb! I miss my mom! No one cares for me! No one loves me! What am I supposed to do!
"Jeremiah." The sound of my name interrupts my madness. "Jeremiah." The melodious tones reach my ears and returns my sanity. "Jeremiah, do you remember?" I am alert now at this familiar voice in my head. "Jeremiah, will you remember?" I strain to hear what the voice is saying. "Jeremiah, come and see me." Suddenly, I hear the distant calls of the seagulls. "Jeremiah, come and be with me." I close my eyes and feel wet caresses on my back. "Jeremiah, don't forget me." Now I am wrapped by the warmth I used to feel long ago. It is so warm that my tears dry against my cheeks. "Jeremiah, I'm always here for you." I began to cry again, but tears of joy this time. "Jeremiah, I die and live for you." I smile as my spirit soars from the expressions of pure love. "Jeremiah, I am your best friend." Now, I know where I am going! Everything is clear again! The brightly-colored sea creatures appear next to me. Hope and joy fills the holes in my heart. Gladness returns to my empty soul. But there is some doubt. There is a hint of unbelief. I must know if this is for real. I must know who restores my joy. Who speaks to me in my time of need? Do I imagine the voice of my mother? Do I hear the voice of reason? Who takes me back to where the sea ends?
I call out, "Who are you?" "Jeremiah," the voice says, "I am your true friend. I am the Prince of Peace. I am the Wonderful Counselor. I am the Bright and Morning Star. I am the Great I Am. I am an Everlasting Light. I am the Fountain of Living Waters. I am the Light of the World. I am your Resting Place. I am Refuge for the Oppressed. I am the Voice. I am the Son." "The Son?", I repeated. "Yes," the voice said. " I am the Son of the Most High. The only begotten Son. The Son who stands for you. The Son who died and rose for you. The Son of the Living God. I am the Son that lies where the sea ends. I am the same yesterday, today and forever more.
Lately, I take many journeys to where the sea ends. Yes, Life still gives me some bad, but I can deal with it better now that I have a hiding place. I guess when I stopped believing, that's when I stopped dreaming. Now I believe. Now, I know I will make it through. Now I know that even when the rain is falling, the sun is still shining somewhere on the other side. Now, I have my faith, my hope, and most importantly, my love. Where will I be if I hadn't listen to my heart? How will I go on if I don't take a peaceful journey every chance I get? What will I do without the Son that lies where the sea ends?