hesitating beauty


we glide over shallow, clean water.  we see the fish and rocks below.  we are raised up just enough to be a part of the river.

they say if you want to know if you should marry a person, you should go canoeing.  see how that works out first and then.  then you can commit a life time of days to them.

this day our daughter sits in the middle of our boat.  she is wearing a life jacket that’s bigger than she is and she’s dipping a small hand into the water running alongside and underneath us.

if we would have gone canoeing together, she never would have been here.

if we’d canoed together when were engaged, one of us would have been thrown overboard.

clean water


when we got married we knew nothing of loving well.

well, almost nothing.

we knew jesus.  we knew of him and believed.

but interdependence and collaboration?  these things were as mysterious and as far away as the nearest star.  we couldn’t look straight at them without becoming blind.  they shone too bright and our eyes were brand new, barely seeing.

the clean water ripples with the current.  we’re going somewhere in our small boat.

we’ve always been carried along.


joshua stops us on a sandy shore and we step out.

the water is perfect for walking on lord, but our feet kick up clouds of sand as we step clean through it every time.

i think then of our attempts to depict jesus walking on water.  it always look ridiculous in every film.  that kind of sovereignty, it seems, is not able to be recreated by any man or any mind.

i don’t know how jesus does it.


but here we are fifteen years later with the most beautiful child either of us has ever laid eyes on.  it’s true.  i did doubt a couple of times.

“josh!  we’re going to hit that!”

“we’re fine, zena.”

“josh!  i don’t think we’re going to fit through there!”

“there’s plenty of room, zena.”

he was right and i believed him each time, quieting down, paddling on.

we’ve come a long way from capsizing.  we’ve traded conflict and sorrow for smooth sailing in calm waters.  maybe the way to see jesus walking on water these days is in the resurrected lives barely raised up above the surface.

maybe so.

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