A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of witnessing an extravagant display, one I won’t easily forget…..
Gary and I had spent the day enjoying one another’s company in Ocean City, MD. Laughing, walking, eating, holding hands. It was absolutely delightful! As the day winded to a close, we sat on a bench along the boardwalk facing the beach, watching the sun make its descending journey, shades of soft blues and pinks along with crashing waves and wet sand. Salt spray softening, watercolor blending the lines.
Off in the distance, much closer to the water, I noticed a family enjoying the last of the sand and sun as we were. Two teen-aged boys were busy burying two others body deep. The scene’s sounds muted by distance, the surf, and wind, yet their very actions easily depicting their delight!
Next to them, lying face down on a towel, was a woman, with a teen-aged girl on bent knee beside her, lying her head on the woman’s back, her face turned toward us. We sat watching the scene for at least 1/2 hour, and the young woman on bent knee never moved, the woman she was using as a pillow occasionally wiggled her feet to obviously restore comfort.
The scene was so odd, I pointed it out to Gary, and he too began to watch. The teenagers playing in the sand, busy burying and unburying one another, with the woman beside them lying face down, feet wiggling, and the bent kneed teen-aged girl lying her head on the woman’s back, statuesque. I remember thinking, “How thoughtless of this young woman to torture her mother so, just for her own comfort!”
Finally, I tired of people watching, and walked to the water’s edge to get a few more sunset photos before heading to the car. Upon returning to the boardwalk a few minutes later, I passed the family whom we’d been secretly observing earlier, now showering and drying off; also ending their fine evening at the beach. Walking by them, I spoke a brief greeting. The mother, a bit gray, looking worn, in her early to mid 50’s, looked up, and returned my greeting with a smile and greeting of her own. Standing nearby were two older young men, obviously sons, eyes gazing at me with distrust. Along with them were two younger children who’d obviously been part of the foursome enjoying the sand game earlier. They each surrounded the young teen-aged woman, body bent in a wheelchair; her face wearing a mix of sadness and pain.
In that moment truth was revealed.
Rather than having witnessed an oddity, I’d witnessed an extravagant display of love. What I’d seen dimly, suddenly became clear. Daughter bent knee, as she could do nothing else, face turned, used her loving mamma’s back as a pillow. Mamma quietly laying face-down in the sand so her daughter could experience the beach, briefly released from the bonds of her wheelchair.
Even now, I am stricken by such a lavish display. A picture of extravagant love.
Do you have a story of an extravagant display of love? I would enjoy very much reading it, and possibly sharing it on the post, with your permission. #extravagantlovestory
For the rest of the summer, due to projects and travel, I will only purpose to write 2 posts a week. Join me later this week for a continuation of this post, as I consider the question, “As I face my own grief and discouragement, could it be I see God’s love with the same distortion? Assuming an oddity, when in reality I’m viewing something so much more beautifully extravagant at work?”
With love and prayers,