SEA BEANS AND A STORM
Of course, traveling on faith, I failed to check the weather report. As I waited for construction traffic on the bridge over the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, it became obvious that the lightning, thunder and rain would arrive at the beach before I did.
By the time I reached the State Park at the coast, the storm was fully involved. Incessant, rumbling thunder shook my little rental car as well as my heart. Lightning flashes were all around. They were impossible to predict, because everything was happening so fast. I tried to capture a picture of a lightning flash but worried my phone would act as a rod and I might be killed. The fact that I was the only person in the parking lot made me question my "good judgment” in being there, so I played it safe and stopped trying. I didn’t want my stupidity to make me a candidate for the evening news;
"Amateur storm chaser dies while posing for a selfie in a storm. She was found naked and afraid clutching her iPhone, a bamboo beach mat, sunscreen and a towel."
It took about an hour-and-a-half for the storm to pass and move out to sea. I did walk the beach for a bit after. The air smelled fresh and clean but the no-see-ums were thick. Within ten minutes I was covered with bites. I quickly returned to the safety of my car and left.
Making my way back toward the mainland, I decided to try one more stop. At the entrance to Fort Pierce Inlet State Park, the ranger collected my four dollars and as dusk began to settle I found myself at the inlet side of the park.
As before, I was all alone. It felt like I was doing something wrong again by being there by myself. I figured, either I was stupid, dead, or the luckiest person in the whole world.
I parked right up front and made the short walk to the beach.
All alone in that beautiful place I began to walk and pray. I prayed spontaneously for a while, then took the rosary from my shorts pocket and began the Joyful Mysteries.
Being a natural born beachcomber, with my head down and my eyes wide open, I walked the shoreline as I prayed. In the grass which had washed up after the storm, I found a few rocks and shells I liked and then a funny little gray thing that looked like a rock but could have just as easily been some leftover picnic garbage.
A decade of the Rosary later, I found another, and then another. Wow, I thought, if only I could find a fourth, then I would have one for each member of our little family. It wasn’t until I began the last decade that I found the fourth little nubbin.
“Oh wow!” the ranger said. “You found a Sea Bean. You must be very lucky. Those are hard to find. They come, sometimes, from as far as Africa. They travel for months on the ocean. I’ve never seen a gray one.” Hang on tight to that treasure! You are very lucky."
Reaching into a file cabinet next to her desk the ranger then pulled out a copy of a Sea Bean information sheet. I thanked her and drove away happy. She was so excited about the one… I didn’t have the heart to tell her I had found four.
20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us (NASB)
23 The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (NASB)