I just got back from 2.5 days on the Oregon Coast with my dear friend Lisa Jean. Going into it, my focus was to give Lisa as much blessing as I could heap upon her. She and Cesar have been kicking ass (and subsequently having their asses kicked) for the last few months with Church @ the Park and the new building. Sunday started their vacation time, so I stole her from her hubby and kids and away we whisked to Cannon Beach.
This was my third trip to the Oregon Coast this summer and it was by far the best. The first was with middle school camp, so my focus was on serving them and leading them. The second was a solo venture to visit some newly made friends in Seaside, but they were all working at camp so we had a great time, but something was missing. Thankfully, this trip was different. There is so much I could share about my time with Lisa Jean. We laughed a ton (thanks to literal videos, the Target Lady, and the fact that we spent a good portion of time watching a whale that turned out to be a rock) and talked about this particular season of my life and of hers. We ate clam chowder three different times (The Driftwood Inn was the best), took a long walk to Haystack (aka Goonie Rock), and watched He's Just Not that Into You and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
But upon further reflection, the pieces of the trip that spoke most clearly to my heart were things that mirrored what John Eldredge (author of Wild at Heart and The Sacred Romance) recently described in the Ransomed Heart newsletter: The Epic and the Intimate. And as fabulous as it was to share this trip with my friend, these sweet moments were experienced while Lisa was off doing something else....
~the glory of a majestic sunset that riotously changed colors as the Pacific swallowed up the light... Epic.
~the stillness of the early morning when the sun's rays turned the dew on the spider webs all sparkly and diamond-like... Intimate.
~the surprising power asserted by Haystack Rock as the incoming tide pounded against it... Epic.
~the cool tingle of the rolling fog on my face.... Intimate.
That's the kind of beauty that both calls up my soul into the amazing grandeur of God and calms my heart to a place of contented stillness...
And now I'm home with the school year coming at me with more speed than I care to acknowledge. Soon my life will be much more structured, much more demanding. My prayer is that I can, in the midst of all the newness and sameness, the structure and the spontaneity, the job and the joy, have eyes to see and a heart to receive both the encouragement that comes from being a part of God's Epic story and the peace that comes from being loved so Intimately.