On the Shore

"I wouldn't describe my life as being on the edge," he said. "It's more like being on the shore."

I could relate to being on the edge. I've had many times in my life when I felt like I was on the edge waiting to fall into the big abyss of despair and hopelessness. Somehow, just when I thought I was lost, I'd show up in God's lost and found department and He would claim me.

I've had very frustrating days, too. Days when I felt like I wanted to run away.

Recently it's been more like I just wanted to stop playing the game, make up my own rules and live the rest of my life doing what I believe God wants me to do. I want to do it without regard to income, corporate standards or a boss who thinks work is not the place to be social or happy.

But life demands certain things. Like the need to pay bills. Like the need follow rules. Like the need to even have a boss.

This all came to light when I spoke to a wonderful woman who plays the harp. I was told she would like to share her talent with hospice patients. I thought that was great. So I called her. She thought it was great, too. That is until we talked about life's demands.

"In order to do this for us, you will need to go through our hospice volunteer training," I said.

"Don't want to," she said.

"It's required. By law we need to train our volunteers, do a criminal record check, a TB test..."

"Nope. I've gone through all of that before. I don't want to wear ID badges, I don't want to represent anyone, I just want to use the talent that God has given me to bring music into the lives of those who need it."

I paused trying to think of what to say.

"I have been a nurse, RN, for more than 20 years. Music is my life now and I do it for nothing. I don't want all the things attached every time I want to share my gift."

"I love your spirit," I said. "May I keep your name and number?"


This got me to thinking about the world today. I understand the need for all the rules, I just don't want to accept that the world is such that we need to investigate, probe, test and train someone who wants to play music for someone who is dying.

But we do. The way the world is today, we need to protect those who are at a most vulnerable time.

Still, here's the beauty of it all.

God is unregulated. If my neighbor's spouse dies, I can go across the street and bring them food so that they don't have to cook.

If a house burns down in my area, I can go to that family with clothes, furniture, or money.

If an old man falls on the side walk, I can run over and lift him up.

If my co-worker is sad, I can make him smile.

If my heart feels the need to, I can sing, dance and be happy, right then, right where I am.

If I think you need it, I can pray for you without asking for permission.

If you want to pray with me, you can without rules, regulations or guidelines, in any language, in any faith, to the God we share or the God we each believe in.

So what about the man who believes his life is like standing on the shore?

He's right. Never again will I see myself "on the edge." I will stand firm and let life and all of its challenges come to me. I will let the stress of the day lap at my feet. If I wade in too far, I'll get wet but I can swim back. If I walk far enough along the shore I will meet others on the journey. We can stop and share a sunrise or build castles for the moment.

If I am strong in my faith I can build a vessel, travel to different shores, and know if the seas get rough, the waves will take me home.

Come away from the edge and walk along the shore with me. We'll get wet. We'll swim. We'll sing when we want to, dance when we shouldn't and the only one we will answer to is God.

~ Bob Perks ~

[ by: Bob Perks Copyright © 2008 (2believe@comcast.net) -- {used with permission} ]

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