Making it Look Easy

Around 8 AM this morning, I began watching these paddlers from the lanai of our cabin on Waianai Beach. I’d watch and then read portions of Ann Voscamp’s book, 1000 Gifts.

Sitting next to me,  Dave sipped his coffee. We find peace and enjoyment in merely sitting side by side; we don’t always need words to communicate or enjoy each other’s company. I guess 42+ years of marriage fosters that.

My eyes make a circuit from water to husband to printed word.

Voscamp writes of grief birthing grace; my eyes and mind flit from the wave dance I see before me, to the words she’s eloquently written, to the dance I’ve floundered about with pain for several decades.

The man in  this photo never fell into the water during the hour or so I watched him. He paddled out, glided about until he chose a wave, and then cruised in, apparently effortlessly.

He made it look so easy. To a people watcher like me,  he made balancing, paddling, and riding waves look trouble-free, as natural as the ever-crashing waves that ceaselessly flow to the shore.

Yet, deep inside, I know he has invested time and energy and has paid the price of scrapes from the coarse sand and rocky bottom. It isn’t just the cake walk it appears to onlookers.

An odd comparison crosses my mind, intersecting the surfer, the book, and my husband. Sometimes people tell me that I make dealing with pain look easy. I usually smile and don’t make much of a comment.

But I think of Bible words I have struggled to receive from the Word.

Lamentations 3:33 says, “He takes no pleasure in making life hard, in throwing roadblocks in the way:” (The Message)

When life hurts — as it has since Eden — knowing the God of the universe personally makes practicing pain easier. Yet, I certainly confess that I, along with King David, have cried out the words of Psalm 10:1 “Why, O Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?”

Even when people have to practice living with trials, and do so until it appears effortless to onlookers, know that the Lord and usually at least one human knows whole story.

In 1968, God graciously sent me my husband Dave, complete with his servant’s heart. Dave’s now invested over four decades  as my best friend, my dearest love, and the man who’s seen me struggle with pain on more than a few occasions.  In his quiet ways,he has made me look like I cope with ease, but don’t be fooled.


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