This past week Ember (age 6) and Scarlet (age 4), had me dig a big hole in the sand not too far from the pounding surf of the Atlantic Ocean. Then they proceeded to run down to the waters, filling their buckets in the waves and dumping them into my dug-out aperture all in an attempt to create their own private pool. Of course, it was an effort in futility as the water quickly absorbed into the sand. Soon the hole itself was filled by the rising tide.
As I witnessed their efforts I was reminded of a story about St. Augustine of Hippo (yes, even my vacations are invaded by theological insights). He watched a child on the beach who also was attempting to dig a hole in the sand. After running to the ocean, filling a bucket with water, and dumping it into the little hole he dug he had a revelation. An angel said to St. Augustine that the child will sooner empty the ocean of water than exhaust the limitless mercy of God. This simple insight greatly influenced his theology of grace as he would become one of the most important theologians of western Christianity.
So there you have it. A couple of children playing in the sand, reminding me of another angelic visitation to another old man of the limitless mercy of God. Likewise, I am reminding you. May the holes in your life continue to overflow with God’s grace and mercy. Not too shabby way to end a wonderful family vacation.
See you Sunday,