If you hold a gecko close enough to your earlobe, he might bite it. If you let him go, he will hang on just long enough to look like an earring!
This was a trick I learned just after I turned nine, when my family and I stayed with close friends who lived in Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico was entrancing. With machetes, our parents harvested fresh sugar cane and coconuts for us to taste, and I learned enough Spanish to run down the street and buy milk at the corner store. We discovered termite mounds on an old plantation that were taller than our dads - the tallest people we could imagine! Best of all, one night we were rowed out into a bay full of phosphorescence. Fish left trails of light as they swam around our boat, while the captain serenaded us on his guitar. Magical.
Swept up in the beauty and fascination of the place, I was almost literally swept away one day while we were at the beach. Spotting a sea cucumber in the shallow surf, I wandered further away from my parents than they or I realized. As I bent to grab the creature from the water, I was knocked over by a breaker!
At first I tried to resist, but all that happened was that I kept being rolled over and over, scraped raw on sand and shells. The wave was so strong I could not stand up or even stop my tumbling. I ceased struggling and let the wave spend its strength, finally crawling out of reach of the surf when it was over, winded and shaken.
It’s been a long time since I was nine. Seasons and circumstances have sometimes, like that giant wave, caught me unaware and left me feeling beaten and bruised. In the relentless tumbling, I haven’t always been sure how much longer I could hold my breath.
Here is the truth about waves: They come in, spend themselves, and roll back out again. If I trust that truth, I won’t fight them. If I don’t fight, I’ll be standing when the wave is spent, smarter and stronger.
God knows the truth about waves. God has been with me in every breaker; my strength and my breath.
Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. Psalm 42:7 (NIV)