Today my friends are coming to visit. They’re from Europe and I’m excited to show them where I’m from. So this afternoon we’re headed out to the beach where we can buy fresh salmon dockside. This is one of my favorite things. In my opinion, it doesn’t get much more organic than wild ocean salmon bought off the boat! I love the ocean and whether at home, school, or studying abroad I have always lived about a half hour drive from its waves. (Okay, except when I was in Chicago.) But then I started thinking about how easy this all seems to me, and I realized how much I take the ocean for granted.
When I think about water biblically I go straight to Genesis 1:1-2, “In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters.” Water also has a cleansing nature, shown to us in baptism, and for me, water is the ultimate source of calm and contentment. The ocean is additionally where much of our oxygen comes from, an essential part of our ecosystem and one of our most crucial economic mediums for transportation and tourism.
So here I sit, thinking about the beauty of the ocean, the calm of the water and the fresh food which it yields. Are you waiting for the big “but!” yet? Well here it is – yesterday I read yet another story about oil spills. In the last few months there have been leaks or spills in the Gulf of Mexico, China, Michigan and a small spill from a boat in Alaska. Our water is in need of cleansing and my outlook is in need of thankfulness as I try not to take my Pacific Coast for granted. You see I can get fresh fish from rivers, lakes and the ocean with little worry or trouble, but many people right now are struggling to provide food for themselves, their families and society in general. In the wake of oil spills God’s creation is in hardship – not just the ocean, but also God’s people. So as I go to buy a fish tonight I think of the fishermen, the seafood restaurants and the sportsmen and women who all count on the water as a life-giving resource. Not to mention the whole of creation who count on its oxygen and ecosystem.
So as I go in search of fresh fish, I’ll say a prayer at the water’s edge.
~ Lana Lile