Today I’m linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker and the Five-Minute Friday crowd for the prompt, Grace. Feel free to join in!
Long ago, I jumped into the pool. The water covered me. All was right with the world, and clear. This pool was not like any other. It didn’t make my hair turn green, or my skin prune, or my teeth chatter. I wanted to stay forever.
I didn’t stay in though. I retreated to the steps. For a while, I remained on the first step, where only my feet sank. Later, I stepped down further, and the water covered more of me. Now and then, a little courage would propel me forward. I would leave the certainty of the steps and swim nearby.
But I never went far, because of my fear, and because of the voices.
Some of the voices shouted from outside the pool–warning me, taunting me, lying to me. They said, Get out, or at least stay there where it’s safe. Other voices came from those sharing the crowded steps. They were afraid, and so was I. Sometimes I shared my fears and became a voice they heard.
Every once in a while, some juvenile swimmer would defy all our feelings, would swim past fear and paddle past doubt out into the heart of that pool. Humbly, triumphantly, even desperately they swam out into the deep end.
And there they’d stay. They grew at home in the deep end, and never returned to crowded steps at the edge of the pool.
We looked at each other, bewildered. How could they swim so far? At least here, on the steps, our feet had something to stand on. What if they got tired of swimming, what then? I didn’t understand.
But I watched their courage afloat. Instead of paddling hard, they were holding out hands to one another, their eyes fixed higher.
How many times I wanted to go! Little flashes of inspiration, big mountain-top moments, a Word that struck something deep within me…I wanted to try the deep end of the pool for myself. But the voices holding me back, they didn’t stop. They shouted loudly when I felt inspired to go. I had developed a voice of my own by then, too. A reasonable voice, which reminded me to be content and live within my abilities.
But then I noticed what all the brave floaters’ eyes were fixed on. I saw the Lifeguard. His eyes caught mine, and I turned away. When I glanced back, He was still watching. Waiting. Yes, you. And then He said my name! Come!
This was more than a little flash of inspiration. This was the moment I stopped cowering and took the plunge. I started living. I barely paddled, but with eyes fixed on the Lifeguard, floated to my new home, at the deep end of the pool, the pool of grace.
After grieving for the years of misunderstanding–time when life was right here, so close, and yet so far away–I learned to move about effortlessly, and full.
It didn’t take long to discover that grace would take a lifetime, or more, to fully grasp. So I would remain. Trusting, at rest, afloat the rest of my days in the infinity pool of grace.