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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Lost at the Pier

"But Esau ran to meet him, threw his arms around his neck, kissed him, and they wept." Genesis 33:4 (CEB)

We miscommunicated on aisle three.

“You said you’d meet me at the car, right when you reached for the powdered sugar,” David said.

“But I meant at check-out. Besides, if you’d brought your phone, I could’ve found you sooner,” I retorted.

The frozens never thought of thawing with the chilly drive home.

“I have my phone, in case you can’t find me in the back yard,” my husband snarked after he unloaded the groceries.

I slammed a few things around – but not the eggs – and thought of another miscommunication, several years ago and in another state.

Six months pregnant with our fourth child, I planned an excursion to Venice Beach Boardwalk. We’d just moved to California, compliments of the U.S. Navy.

“I thought you knew where we were going,” David mumbled as we parked.

“Well, you promised you’d bring the map. Look there’s the boardwalk. And the Ferris wheel.”

“We’ll never make it there and back before dark,” said David. “I’ll move the car closer.”

What I thought was Venice Beach Boardwalk was actually the Santa Monica Pier. The kids and I walked along the edge of the water while David moved the car. We made it to the pier, but no sign of David anywhere. With no cell phone then, I had nothing with me but three kids – three hungry, thirsty, tired kids.

We searched the pier, walked the beach, talked to lifeguards, spoke with the Santa Monica Police Department, rested, thirsted, wept a little – some more than others - and started anew.

My worry was approaching panic as dusk drew near. Then Jenifer yelled, “There’s Daddy!” We could see him pacing the beach frantically as we peered for the one-hundredth time over the edge of the pier.

Jeremy cupped his hands around his mouth and yelled for his dad while the rest of us waved our arms in the air. When David spotted us, I could see relief flood his face, even from that distance. He made his way our direction.

“I’m sorry I got us lost,” I said as I threw my arms around David’s neck.

“I’m sorry I forgot the map,” David said, just before kissing me.  

My mind came back to the present as I placed the powdered sugar in its rightful place. Our argument was ridiculous and silly, and my sharp words to my husband were uncalled for, reminding me of the verse in Proverbs 15:1 (ESV) that says,

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

I think I’ll text David an apology. Then I’ll run out back for a kiss.

Dearest God of Jacob, Thank you for forgiveness. May we never lose sight of its sweetness.  

Copyright © 2019 Julie Lavender, used by permission.

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