The sea, and all that is in them

Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before him with thanksgiving
and extol him with music and song.

For the Lord is the great God,
the great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth,
and the mountain peaks belong to him.
The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.

— Psalm 95:1-5

A Sabbath is a day consciously set aside for God’s peace and rest. Today was very much a Sabbath for xprod. We spent the day at the beach in Fort Fisher near Wilmington, NC and enjoy a day of rest. It’s been a while since I’ve gone to the beach. Having spent most of my life 2 miles from the Pacific Ocean, I’ve always taken the beach for granted. It was curious at first to think we’d consider two hours a worthwhile amount of time to drive just to visit the nearest strip of salty sand.

Brief Interlude
“I have a beach addiction, it comes in waves” – John

The water is freezing, but that doesn’t stop some of us from diving in face-first like fish, and tackling wall after wall of salty sea brine. We bury Yeye in the sand, Wakanda-style, and sing It is Well around him ritualistically. Some of us play frisbee while tripping over each other in the sand, others teach Barry how to Be Engineer by digging sand tunnels.

Brief Interlude
“They couldn’t take me to preschool if I was naked so I took all my clothes off” – Barry

In the afternoon we do some Jesus Time, which is exactly what it sounds like: time spent with Jesus. Some of us gather and sing worship songs; others disperse across the beach like the drops of the ocean, finding our own little corner of the beach to hang with Jesus. I walk south down along the shore. To my left, the vast expanse of ocean slumbers restlessly; Moana’s How Far I’ll Go plays in my head. To my right, the sand rolls out indefinitely; because there is little cover on the great expanse of sand, the wind screams past me as I walk down the shore. Sand rushes through the air a few inches above the ground, pecking at my ankles. Little sandpipers dart around nervously, pecking along the edge of the water for sandcrabs. Laughing gulls hang suspended in the wind above beachgoers, eyeballing their chips and crackers. And God made all of this! From each speck of sand to each whit of water to each fleck of feather!

On the way back home, we get ice cream from a dainty little shoppe called Squigley’s. Their signature cone allows you to pick from ingredients like raspberry, oreo, peanut, pineapple, etc. to mix and match your own flavors into a custom brew. We get flavors ranging from oreo cheesecake to pumpkin graham cracker to peanut butter cup lemon. (Kudos to Oliver, John’s older younger brother, for that novel concoction.)

Brief Interlude
Matthew I assume this is a week you’ve had an abnormal number of guests staying at your home?
Chris (John’s littlest brother): yeah.
Matthew: do you enjoy it?
Chris: yeah.
Matthew: good, cause if not I’d feel like an invasive species.

This whole week has felt like a long sleep wrapped up in a neat little package – everything contained in the little box of North Carolina and all the places we have visited. My family is now xprod; it’s hard to look beyond our group and remember the life I supposedly lead back at MIT, surrounded by psets and delightful brain food. The days are a walking dream. I pray that the beauty of God’s creation I witnessed today will remain with me after long after I return from this dream.


Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.