A MESSAGE FROM REV. SUE BENNETCH: Staying in the Distance

Over the 4th of July I had the opportunity to spend some time with my family at the NJ shore.

We had some very good beach days and took full advantage of them.  Once settled in “our spot” I noticed that many, many other families had the same idea. The beach was very crowded.

Now, I am a people watcher. I love to see children playing beach volleyball, diving into waves, building sand castles or searching for shells.  One family caught my eye.  They happened to set up right in front of me. There was one child walking and two little boys in a double stroller.  They were joined by another family with a little girl.

As I watched, I could tell the parents where a tight team. They shared in the slathering of lotion, the distribution of swim shirts and hats.  Three pairs of little feet into sand shoes. They were ready for anything!

As mom stayed behind with the youngest, the two older brothers and their cousin decided they wanted to dig a hole in the sand.  Dad joined them in finding a good spot to do so, but the sand was too loose and it kept falling back into the hole.  Off to another spot they found one with wet sand. As the children hovered over the find, dad followed carrying three shovels.  A few swipes of the shovel, and they decided a better spot was probably further down the beach, so hand in hand the three toddlers ran to their next destination.  Never out of sight, dad followed them, carrying the three shovels.

As I watched this family, my mind went from close family to God’s love.  Dad followed his children wherever they went on the beach. He patiently carried their cargo for them, so they would be free to run.  He kept a steady eye on them and always shoveled the first load.  He watched them as they dug.  He was always with them, in everything they did.

This became my meditation for the day, as I enjoyed the scene before me.  The children were happily bouncing from one “best” location to another – sensing in their little hearts that dad was watching their every move – not getting in the way of their fun activity – just enjoying them enjoy themselves.  Exactly what God does with us.  God watches and enjoys us, most of the time staying in the distance, patiently and lovingly caring for us.

So when you are out and about keep alert for something to catch your eye and see where God is in that chance encounter. Hope you have a wonderful and blessed summer.


Sue Bennetch