A few years ago, John Eldridge was on a business trip to Oregon. He snuck away for some time alone with God, down to the beach where he walked and prayed and finally sat in the sand to watch the waves. Then he saw it. A huge plume of water shot up into the sky, and a massive humpback whale appeared before him, impossibly close to shore.
No one else was near. The time of the whale’s annual migration had long passed. John knew immediately that this was a gift from God to his heart alone, a gift from the lover of his soul.
John told his wife Stasi, his story — and she was happy for him — but it made her hungry for a whale of her own. Not long after this they were both in Northern California speaking at a couple’s retreat and one morning she snuck away for some alone-time — you guessed it — at the beach. She sat on the sand and asked God for a whale. She writes,
I felt a little silly in asking, for I knew the truth –that God had already proven his love for me. He had sent his only Son Jesus to die for me. He had rescued me. He had given me all of creation… He had given me the Word of God in all it’s depth and beauty and here I was asking for more.
But still she asked God for her whale. I know you love John, she prayed, but Jesus do you love me too? That much? If you do, may I have a whale too? She waited awhile and then with no whale in sight got up to leave. It was early spring, northern California, waves crashing on the rocky coast. She picked her way around a outcropping of rocks and looked down to discover a solitary beautiful orange starfish. She knew immediately that it was God’s gift to her. God’s kiss.
Not a whale, but something unique for her. He had answered her question. Yes I love you. She said thank you as she rounded another outcropping of rock…to come upon the a sight she will never forget. She writes,
There before me, behind me, surrounding me, were hundrerds of starfish. Zillions of them. There were purple ones, orange ones and blue ones, all sizes. I burst into joyful laughter, my heart exploding inside me. God didn’t just love me. He LOOOOOVED me!
Easter is a season to celebrate the LOOOOOVE of God for us.
Maybe right now you look at the cross and it’s enough for you, maybe you find yourself in a place where you would like a whale or a starfish of your own. Ask Him and then watch and listen. He LOOOOOVES you.