Lately, I’ve been surrounded by docks on various Southwest Florida ponds, rivers, passes, and the Gulf of Mexico. The docks have caused me to think back to my father’s cherished Chris-Craft and the small “lagoon,” actually an inlet off Lake Erie, where it and a dozen or so small craft docked.
I thought about the unwritten rule that nobody else could tie up at anyone else’s dock. None of us in that small community where peach orchards grew owned the land surrounding the lagoon, but each family claimed its own space and built its own dock. My father taught me knot-tying, how to steer a boat in a storm, and when not to go out in the boat. I never needed these skills later in life but what I derived from it was the sense of security I felt from the trust my father had in me with docking the boat, maintaining its upkeep, and practicing safety measures, among other things—all at the age of 13.
He and my mother also allowed my brother and me to swim and boat whenever we wanted to except on Sunday mornings when we all went to worship services together. I was allowed to go to church with my long hair dripping down the back of my dress, but Sunday church was necessary. In our lives we needed a dock, but also the safe haven and sheltering arms and love of Jesus. We were taught that one’s life is not just physical, but also spiritual—by living examples, not just empty words.
Many of us are blessed to be able to choose our own safe havens or docks where we moor ourselves before venturing out into the daily life of the world.
As we anticipate the celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord, let us all return to the loving arms of our Risen Lord, our safe haven and the safe haven of the world.
Where is your safe haven in the temporal world? Is it a person or a place? Where can you dock yourself and know you belong there? Is it a special place where you can also find Jesus in the quiet of your heart? Or, is it that devoted cousin or friend who knows who you really are and loves you in spite of— or because of—it?
Barbara Miller serves on the churchwide executive board. She lives in Washington, Mich.