Some thoughts from Madeleine L’Engle, offered here for all who find the ocean and the stars healing and all who long to know more of the free, wild and un-domesticated God who is beyond all definition…
But we rebel against the impossible. I sense a wish in some professional religion-mongers to make God possible, to make him comprehensible to the naked intellect, domesticate him so that he’s easy to believe in. Every century the church makes a fresh attempt to make God comprehensible but a comprehensible God is no more than an idol.
I don’t want that kind of God.
What kind of God then?
One time when I was little more than a baby, I was taken to visit my grandmother, who was living in a cottage on a nearly uninhabited stretch of beach in northern Florida. All I remember of this visit is being picked up from my crib in what seemed like the middle of the night and carried from my bedroom and out of doors, where I had my first look at the stars.
It must have been an unusually clear and beautiful night for someone to have said, ‘Let’s wake the baby and show her the stars.’ The night sky, the constant rolling of breakers against the shore, the stupendous light of the stars, all made an indelible impression on me. I was intuitively aware not only of a beauty I had never seen before but also that the world was far greater than the protected limits of the small child’s world which was all that I had known thus far. I had a total, if not very conscious, moment of revelation: I saw creation bursting the bounds of daily restriction, and stretching out from dimension to dimension, beyond any human comprehension.
I had been taught to say my prayers at night: Our Father, and a long string of God-blesses, and it was that first showing of the galaxies which gave me an awareness that the God I spoke to at bed-time was extraordinary and not just a bigger and better combination of the growing powers of my mother and father.
This early experience was freeing, rather than daunting, and since it was the first, it has been the foundation for all such glimpses of glory. And it is probably why the sound of the ocean and the sight of stars give me more healing, more whole-ing, than anything else.
[If anyone can help attribute the source of this, please comment]