I open my eyes when I feel the cool water lapping around my ankles. The port side of a boat supports my knees as my feet dangle into the cool, clear bay, with a world of color swimming beneath them. I lift my eyes from my feet to the horizon to orient myself. The sunny harbor is abustle off to my left, with gulls calling and swirling over the docked ships. In front of me, the island’s slope turns rocky as it drops off into the sea. But to my right, in the direction that my boat is heading, lies the open ocean, and hanging above it are ominous purple clouds, roaring and rolling off into the distance as far I can see. Immediately concerned, I turn to examine my boat which really is more of a tiny life boat than anything else, and I see Him sitting on the bench near the back. He’s smiling at me, glad to see that I finally see Him. Confused and still breathless, all I can do is look at the horrifying storm we are sailing towards, then look back at Him, hoping my eyes are asking the questions I can’t form. He understands, and with a light heart, he responds:

Oh, its dangerous, but it’s not bad.
It’s how I can sleep in the bottom of the boat. Were it to get too bad, I could stop it, but I won’t need to most likely. 

Will we survive?

You laugh and look off in the direction of the storm.
Oh, of course, dear. The best storms only make you more alive.
Then You catch my gaze, Your eyes alive with an almost mischievous twinkling. 
Especially when you have Me for a captain.

This little skiff seems hardly able to take on the open sea, let alone in a storm.

Oh, but it’s the best kind for this sort of thing. It doesn’t steal any majesty from the storm, or afford any safety other than the wind and the waves themselves.
You face the storm thoughtfully, yet you speak quite matter-of-fact.
You see, it’s not at all about the boat. It’s all for the storm. The boat is only the means to get us there. 

So the goal is the storm?

Of course. We only set out to sea when we saw the clouds boiling out of the horizon.

None of this makes any sense to me. Isn’t the goal of all of this to get through the storms you must so you can arrive at safety? You don’t go looking for them.

Oh, we aren’t looking for it. It’s here. It would have hit us had we stayed in the harbor. But out here is so much better for enjoying them. There’s times to stay and watch them from the porch, but that’s just watching them, that’s not being among them. They don’t change you unless you’re among them, and I think it’s time for some change.
Even though I face the storm with resolve, the seas in my spirit are roiling and who knows when they’ll decide to topple me over. You study me as if You have something to say. My lips are pursed, hands are clasped together, knuckles white, trying to hold in all my composure. You reach over and place Your hand on mine. I look at you, my eyes no doubt pleading for some respite, but when I meet Yours, I know in my heart the words You hold behind those sweet, adventurous eyes: “I love you. I would never bring You harm, and I will never leave you alone or leave you behind. I only want the best for you and this is the best way for me to bring it.” But the only word that comes out of your lips is:
Together?

And I melt. Not into chaos or disrepair, but into repose. A smile tugs at my cheeks before I could even think to command it to be. I’m sure you saw all that transformation in my eyes too, so only one word is necessary in reply:
Always.
I move to sit next to You on Your bench as the steady breeze continues to gently carry us out to sea.

And so we sit, my head against Your shoulder; not riding off into the sunset, but into the storm.
Yet by our leisure, no one would have been able to tell the difference.

 

 

[cover art is by Horacio Cardozo and can be found here]
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