“Don’t forget to set your alarm. We’re going to the beach early,” Margy reminded me.
“Great!” No way would I forget a swim at the beach.
“I’m coming too!” Ten-year-old Pam was excited.
I mused as I prepared for the night. Soon after my mountain top experience with God a few months ago, he had seemed silent towards me. I hoped to hear His voice again when I had more time during the school holidays, staying with Margy and her family in Nambour.
I had a wonderful, lazy time with the Smiths and spent plenty of time in prayer. I longed to hear that Voice again.
Surely that was part of what I’d ‘signed up’ for when I surrendered to God?
But there was silence.
While I prayed in those long balmy summer evenings, I’d gaze out the window at the late-flowering pendulous cassia blooms glowing golden in the evening light. The leaves fluttered in the breeze. The sky blazed behind black hills with the fire of the setting sun.
We rose early to go to Mooloolaba to swim. As I dressed, I noticed an orange and black butterfly alight on the branch beside my window. The first rays of sunlight glimmered on its wings.
As the sun rose, we laughed and sang our way in the old car, then swooped over the hills at Buderim to the beach in the early light, sometimes even dawn.
We swam in gentle billowing waves, clear aqua water that swelled to humps and floated us up off the sand. Cool silky water refreshing our hot mid-summer bodies. Bliss.
We’d buy food from the bakery and eat breakfast on the beach, crunching hungrily into crusty rolls topped with bacon and cheese, while we gazed at the sea.
Then back over the forested hills into Nambour.
We’d sit around the friendly kitchen table and talk and joke in sheer contentment. Summer holidays.
No time pressure.
Sometimes birds chirped and twittered as I rested in the afternoon. Bees buzzed loudly. The air was sweet with the fragrance of roses.
Often during my prayer times Margy or one of the others would bring me a cup of tea and a snack. Cosiness filled my room.
At the very end of that holiday God opened my eyes to see and hear again in the way I’d been wanting. But that’s another story.
I think back now, enjoying so many happy memories.
All I heard then was silence – while God whispered in the breeze, sang through the birds, loved me through the Smiths and glowed in the joy-filled sunrises.
Thank you Maud, Margy, Barby, Esther, Pam, Phill and all the Smiths for your loving hospitality so many times.
God has many faces.
Photos by Pam Easton (nee Smith)