Hovering in scuba gear on the edge of a coral reef in Lanai’s tropical waters, I peered into the mysterious blue depths below. It was exactly like the drop-off scene in the movie, Finding Nemo. The reef was alive with schools of beautiful angelfish, tangs and butterfly fish creating spectacular splashes of color.
There was a moment of apprehension as I glanced up at the bottom of the boat from which I had just leapt. But the lure of the deep drew me over the edge of the reef and into the vastness below. Like Nemo, I had a few daring friends urge me on, and we all drifted weightless into the depths. We were on our way to a famous underwater cathedral.
Slowly descending, I became fascinated with a parrotfish biting off chunks of coral. I drifted over to watch and hung weightless beside him, rhythmically pulling air through the mouthpiece. Ignoring me, he continued crunching coral for the tasty morsels inside. He had obviously seen rubberized bubbling creatures before meeting me and wasn’t taken aback by the out-of-world intrusion.
I kicked to catch up with the group as they approached a rock formation. Great tubes and caves had been created by hot lava spilling into the water in the distant past. We ventured into these tunnels and caves until finally we entered a great underwater cathedral. Sunlight from above shone through holes high up the wall creating a stained glass effect. Shafts of blue light illuminated the cave with a soft glow. I hung weightless in the open space of the cathedral enveloped by the great secret of the deep. A mysterious sense of holiness pervaded the silence.
I never would have experienced the magnificence of the cathedral had I remained in the boat or snorkeled in the safety of the shallows. It was the discipline of preparation and the jump that opened unimaginable treasures of the deep.
In the blue light of the underwater cathedral, I was overwhelmed by the beauty of God. We were designed to venture into his mysterious depths, but the silent deep is unnerving. It strips and exposes the soul then engulfs it with nearly unbearable peace. One must leap out of the boat and risk the drop-off to find the treasure and the beauty of the depths of God.
Oh, to be in the place where God opens his heart and reveals inexpressible truth … where he pulls back the veil and reveals the open beating of his heart. In the quiet of holy depths, with only my breath breaking the silence, the unutterable language of the Spirit echoes in the cathedrals of my heart … Abba, Father!
The Spirit, not content to flit around on the surface, dives into the depths of God, and brings out what God planned all along. 1 Corinthians 2:10 MSG
Dr. Pam Teschner is a retreat speaker, teller of God’s stories, author, musician and artist. She is the Associate Provost for Academics and Acting Dean for the School of Professional Studies at Corban University. Connect with Pam at http://blogs.corban.edu/pamteschner/