An Ocean Of God


The late David Foster Wallace once related this little parable that I haven't been able to get off my mind for a while.  I have learned whenever that happens to pay attention to it. 

Here's the story:
There are two young fish swimming along, and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, "Morning boys. How's the water?" And the two fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other, and goes, "What the hell is water?"
There's so much we could do with that story, am I right? 

For a while, every time I thought about it, I imagined the ever-present, limitless grace of God as an ocean and how easy it is for us to forget that we're swimming in all of the time. 

Which led me to think about how it's much more than God's grace that we're swimming in. I then imagined how we could be swimming in the very glory of God, which is all around us in Creation and even with us. 

But then, after days of coming back to this little parable over and over again, I began to see something else.  It's more than grace that we're swimming in--as beautiful as that image is.  It's even more than the glory of God, which is hard to imagine. 

What we are swimming in is the very presence of God.  God in us. God around us.  God before and behind us.  God through us and under us.  God as the very ground of our being.  God as the energy between all things at all levels of existence. 

It is all God.  All of it. 

And what we feel of God when we are aware of this is the infinite love of God which binds all things together, and the grace of God, which gives us new hope and brighter imaginations.  And the peace or shalom of God which is slowly, ever slowly reclaiming and resurrecting whatever has been left for dead.

Pope Francis explains it like this:
Everything is related, and we human beings are united as brothers and sisters on a wonderful pilgrimage, woven together by the love God has for each... 
May you have eyes that are opened to see God all around you.  May you have ears to hear God speaking, singing, whispering to you the secrets and mysteries of God's great love.  And may your heart be softened to receive God's grace and peace. 

And may that grace and peace--of our Lord Jesus Christ--be with you now and always.  Amen. 

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