I got to visit Smith Lake in Alabama this week and sit on its banks for a few days. It is a beautiful place full of peace and quiet. I practiced silence and solitude for the first half of each of the days here and was inspired to write again this short thought.

One morning sitting on a screened porch, I listened to all the sounds nature offered. Birds singing a tune, leaves rustling ever so slightly, the water on the lake still and serene. It was a quiet, undisturbed scene. I was mesmerized by the peace that enveloped. I like these moments in life – you know those moments when all is right in your world, you feel the love, joy, peace that those quiet, undisturbed moments can offer. It feels good to sit with these and be grateful – kids well, marriage secure, business growing, friendships sweet, food choices healthy… all the things that make my heart thankful and at ease.

In the distance the humming of something approaching, something that will invade this space with its speed, noise and movement. Something that will break this spell of peace surrounding me.

A boat is rounding the corner on this lake, speeding through my silence.

Breaking through the glass top of the lake it sends ripples rushing, water moving rhythmically towards the shore. These ripples affect everything! The shoreline awakens with sounds of rocking and slapping – everything disturbed – new sounds captivate my attention. The lullaby of waves dancing against objects they contact.

So necessary — this movement!

I am reminded that life is active, changing, dynamic. We are not allowed to stay in our peace cocoons forever – we must MOVE with the ripples when they come. AND they will come, it is inevitable.

Life is


and at times, unbearable.

These ripples ravage us, leaving us heartsick, heartbroken, heart-aching to be back in safety and that coveted peace but it is in these heart moments that our hearts beat again for a the new things that come in the rippling dance that shakes all things loose and leaves us weak-kneed. These ripples break the silence to set all things dancing, rearranging, and opening us up to the MORE God has for us. These ripples open our hearts to beat again for new, impossible things to come to our shores. Awakens us to the things we have been asleep to, ignored because of our fear, pushed away because it’s too painful. We are forced to come face-to-face with the ripples that shake the shore, making us dizzy, unsure footed, and toppling over.

Stepping into the waves, going deeper, what we find is that instead of drowning we are washed clean, made new, stronger and braver.

The ripples provide us with

radical resilience,

capacious courage,

passionate possibility.