Are you familiar with The Princess Bride? It’s a movie that I memorized I watched it so often. And of course, “As You Wish” was Westley’s way of saying “I love you.”
I think we all have those particular ways in which God communicates to us saying, “I love you.” For me there are many. One of them is starfish.
Ever since I was a kid I’ve been fascinated with starfish: their textured feel, the way they suck onto a rock (or your hand), their colors. I always scanned the tidal pools of the Pacific for them.
But, they are much fewer and farther between here on the Welsh coast, so they seem especially significant when I come across one.
A couple of weeks ago I took a day of solitude with the Lord and I heard him say, “Come to the beach with me.” To be honest I wasn’t feeling much like prying myself off the couch and I sensed the beach that he was inviting me to was one that’s a bit of a drive from here. But I couldn’t bring myself to refuse the invitation and so I went.
As I walked on the beach I was talking with the Lord and I remember looking down the beach and praying, “I know there are no tide pools here, but even without the starfish I’m really aware of how you show your love for me.”
About two miles down the beach I was focusing on where I was stepping, as there were a lot of jelly fish on the beach that day, and at a curve where the tide was just going out, I saw my first brittle star. So, they might not technically be starfish, but they are starfish in every way that matters to me. And as I walked along I saw not one, but literally hundreds of them. I just wanted to laugh. I’d done it again. I’d boxed God in. As if he couldn’t say “I love you” with a starfish unless there were tide pools.
And to up the ante, I ended up going home on a different route and the wild ponies were right there on the side of the road for me to enjoy.
It was a sweet day and a sweet reminder of the God who has time and again moved heaven and earth to show me his love: in Jesus, in a starfish, in a sunny day on the beach, though a herd of ponies, in the midst of pain, on the days when I don’t want to pry myself off the couch.
I am loved.
You are loved.
Keep your ears open.
You might hear “As You Wish.”
Keep your eyes open.
You might be surprised by a starfish.