Thursday, February 21, 2008

Surfing in Living Water

I'm thinking about living water this week. Jesus offers it to the Samaritan woman at the well in this Sunday's lectionary reading from John's gospel. Water was my first experience of God and body surfing a formative experience as I grew up in Seal Beach. This is one of my earliest poems, not my best writing, but even coming back to it after almost ten years, I still find Jesus in the water.

Church of Living Water

"You're abandoning God," your mother
proclaimed on Sunday mornings
and drove her station wagon to a stagnant building
where the fear-broken tried to cast out damnation

With your back to sunrise
you walked barefoot across town
shifting the board in your grasp
and slipped under the surf

You paddled through years of blue-green mornings
salt-wind washing your bruised feet
and recovered from countless sand drills
when the sea spat you ashore

You outlasted the cool crowd
and the bronzed beach babes,
who drifted to another fad

The currents haven't changed
you remain faithful
in the quiet when even gulls are silent
waiting for the mother of waves

When she arrives, you embrace the swollen water
The force of moon-pull suspends you
alongside ocean's eternal walls

You slice through gravity
Jesus walks the infinite wave with you
aligned in uncontrollable rightness
before you plunge into living water

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