I am sitting on the beach this evening, watching the swells roll in toward me. Each wave builds as it approaches, ascending, taking shape, deep greens below sweeping upward into translucent aquamarine. A sculpture in motion, curling forth like shavings from a jade carving. The sheer elegance is enough to take my breath away.

An artist is revealed in the work he or she creates, and in the abundance of the work created. Think of the ocean. Picture it in your mind. Tonight the breakers are thundering on the reef a hundred yards out, and beyond that open ocean. What does this tell us about Jesus? What words come to mind? Majestic, powerful, wild, dangerous. Yes, tempestuous, like the clearing of the temple. “His eyes like the grey o’ the sea,” as Ezra Pound wrote, “the sea that brooks no voyaging.” But also gently playful as it laps at your feet, swirling round your toes, pulling the sand away from beneath you as Jesus ever so gently pulls the rug out from under us.

I look down. Scattered at my feet lie a thousand shells, delicate, intricate, the work of a jeweler. An artist with very small tools and exceptional eyesight. If all this is the work of an artist’s hand, what does it tell us about the artist? Creation is epic and intimate. He is epic and intimate. Everywhere around me, an obsession with beauty and attention to detail.

But most of all, I am thunderstruck by the abundant generosity strewn around, constantly rolling in. It’s as if someone took the family silver and ran down the beach, tossing handfuls here and there like a madman. How do you describe this extravagance? What kind of person acts like this?

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