The deep

When the waters saw you, O God,when the waters saw you, they were afraid; indeed, the deep trembled. -Psalm 77:16

even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is as bright as the day, for darkness is as light to you. -Psalm 139:12

You never quite know what’s going to come in from the deep when you snorkel in the ocean. I’ve been surprised by sea turtles, grouper, barracuda, and small jellyfish (sadly, no reef sharks!). I remember floating once over a shallow shelf being startled to see an eel lurking out of a hole about a foot under my stomach. There was no room to paddle, so floating was the only option; it seemed to take forever to steer clear as I watched the little fellow ominously grinning the way eels do.

Once I joined a night manta dive in Hawaii. Never having learned to scuba, I snorkeled alone while the divers went to the bottom. They shot floodlights from there. From the dark, silent waters, huge mantas eerily wandered into the lit areas. Some majestically glided a few feet beneath where I floated.

I eventually became more interested in looking away from the rays, the boats, and the shoreline, and out into the murky blackness all around. The water was lapping about me. I thought about what lurks out there. Was a hammerhead sizing me up? I looked down and was startled to not see the lights any longer. The divers had gone back to the ship and I was alone! For a brief moment the terror of the deep hit me. How horrible it’d be to be left floating in the vast ocean alone at night! I can’t describe it, but I’ll never forget it.

To paraphrase C.S. Lewis, our God is not a tame lion.

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