*Alternate* Second Reading “God of the Water” by Layton E. Williams

“God of the Water” by Layton E. Williams

In God’s hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are God’s also. The sea is God’s who made it, and the dry land, which God’s hands have formed.  (Psalm 95: 4-5)

I go to the ocean a lot now.
I missed it, like a hunger, a gaping hungry hole,
all the years I was gone from this coast,
looking for myself in landlocked places.
My brother wonders aloud how long it will be
before I learn to take it for granted—
the ocean down the street. He hasn’t been in years.

I can’t imagine I ever will, even though it still scares me a little,
like it always has, its current and riptides,
its hungry creatures and endless depths.
But mostly it feels like God.
When I go to the water, I am certain God meets me there:
big enough to stretch across the world beyond what any eye can see,
strong enough to take whatever I carry and bear it out across the tides,
tender enough to hold me,
and close enough to roll in over my toes across the sand and say,
“Hello love.”

The words of Layton E. Williams.

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