Unexpected Tide

written upon the shores of life in deep bold letters;
written with failing hand.  

Sin after sin, 
failure upon failure
recorded for all to see and for him to ne’er forget. 

His back aches as he stoops yet again to scrawl another shortcoming into the white-hot sand.  

This arduous undertaking continues throughout the day and on into evening. 

As fatigue grows in his legs and lower back, he soon finds he is unable 
     to stand.  

his list continues to grow while he crawls down the seaside 
     on weary hands and knees. 

Exhausted eyes grow heavy.
An uneasy slumber 


What seemed like moments later, 
the penitent one 
is startled awake by the splash of the tide against a fatigued body.  
A struggle to rise ensues as he curses into the wind for even a brief rest could not be granted.  

Standing, stretching to relieve a tightened back in order that the laborious work might continue. 

As sleep is rubbed from tired eyes, the traveler looks down at his feet.  Astonished that all he had painstakingly written the night before was 


All of the work, 
the penitence, 
the self-pity, 
the effort to keep record of wrongs 
went for naught! 

It would now have begin 


“How could this have happened to me,” he shouts into the salty air, as he strains to remember all the imperfections he had written the day before.  Legs burning and back aching as he bends down to once again write in the sand. 

Head bowed, hands resting on the moist clean white sand, the warmth of the morning sun begins tickle the back of his neck.  Head lifted to see a cloudless sky, the gentle ocean breeze blows against a sunburned face.  Whitecaps break in the distance with the ocean’s surging power.  The warm sand cradles wearied knees in a blanket of white. 

Scanning the beach, 
     there was not even a faint trace of yesterday’s scars. 

The beach, 
     the man, 
made new; 
washed clean in the unexpected tide.  

“Have mercy on my, O God,
                according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
                blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
                and cleanse me from my sin.”  -- Psalm 51:1-2


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