Paradise defiled: The Florida Gulf beaches at the mercy of BP as oil came ashore today.

I saw the sad reports this evening of extensive tar balls rolling ashore along Pensacola Beach, Florida.  The sugary-white sand along the Florida Panhandle Coast is one of my family’s special places where we’ve vacationed over the years.   My heart breaks seeing BP’s mess rolling ashore there.

Yet I recall what I wrote in 2o07 just down the road on vacation at Navarre Beach.

I Heard God’s Word Along the Sea
(Composed along the Gulf of Mexico at Navarre Beach, Florida, 2007)

Pity on narrow men
who canonize God’s Word,
confined in sacred books
composed by ancient hands.

For I heard God’s word lately
along the sea
in noisy surf:
Driven waves
pounding shoreward,
Thundered by strident breeze
from dusk
to dawn
high tide and low
and dusk again
and then
throughout the night.

Wave upon wave,
God declaring in the surf along the sea,
“I am.”

The pensive blogger at Navarre Beach in yester-year, before the BP debacle.

So I closed my eyes in the darkened evening,
listening carefully for more:

“Like the sea dancing on moonbeams before you
As far as the horizon beyond your imagination,
I am greater than your knowing.
Seek me anyway
and know that I am.”

So I rest with thoughts such as this:
Whether this sea raises on one hand
to delight my seafood platter,
or on the other
dreadful wind
to snatch the roof from my house,

I seek.
I long.
I praise.
I trust,
because I hear your Word,
drawing me to Your voice
in the noisy, wind-driven surf along the sea.

For all that I am not,
You are.

Yep, in times like these, I need a higher authority than BP or Governor Jindal or President Obama.