I didn’t know quite what to expect when the Lord led me to a quaint little town on Lake Erie to spend an uninterrupted week of writing. I would be alone. Just God, me and a thousand questions, all revolving around what in the world am I doing?
When I first arrived, it seemed like every inch of Lakeside oozed beauty and creativity. The waters of Lake Erie beat on the rocks at the lake’s bank, reminiscent of Maine’s shoreline. The stately peer stretching into the lake welcomes visitors to sit and admire the view to Put-in-Bay or throw out a fishing line. The cottages with their screened in porches of wicker furniture and flower-filled window boxes are graced with names like “Almost Free” and “Lady of the Lake.” And the lampposts that line the footpath by the water seem, well, Narnian.
Although I would be captivated by the beauty that is Lakeside in and of itself, as the week progressed, I realized my attraction ran deeper. My brother and sister-in-law own the cottage where I stayed. The streets I walked were the same streets where my nephew, Sammy, rode his bike. I ate my supper on the porch Marty built; I drank in the loveliness of Lisa’s homey touch. I thought of how Lisa’s parents had the foresight years ago to invest in a cottage at Lakeside as a place for their young family to find a respite from the busyness of life. The memories created there foster a sense of security, of belonging, of a legacy now being passed on to the next generation. It is in this relational connectedness that the secret of Lakeside’s deeper beauty rests.
I believe it’s much the same with all of life. It is the connectedness to God that we experience through Christ that changes a black and white world into Technicolor. It happens when we are willing to risk, to put ourselves in unfamiliar situations that oblige us to trust. That trust causes new colors to emerge, and we discover that we are more and can do more than we ever thought possible.