Place Read: Tauranga, New Zealand
Source: SPCA Op Shop, Greerton
Date: June-July 2016
Version/Edition: Methuen & Co.; London, 1963
It was an op-shopping morning in Greerton– and for those of you that know the city of Tauranga, that usually means success. With over five op shops (translated, thrift store) within a block, this particular time I came out with a Van Gogh print (identical to one I bought in Amsterdam but left in Australia), a dark blue wool sweater (see profile picture), a Hawaiian map coffee mug… and Sailing in a Sieve.
Although I could probably count on two hands how many times I’ve been on a boat, I’ve always loved the ocean. You can’t grow up on a tropical island, the Pacific out your window every day, and not be impacted by its mysterious, wide, alluring expanse. Not to mention the adventures on its shores– the wild leaps into waves, the squeals as you’re smashed by sand-balls. Even though I usually described myself as a “mountain girl”… the ocean is home, too.
So I bought this book on a whim– simply because I liked its cover-picture. I wasn’t even planning on reading it, but I thought why not? With YWAM Ships exploding across the world (and calmly exploding in my own heart, as many people involved with YWAM over the years), I figured it’d be fun. Then of course reading about Canadian and English university students studying abroad in Sweden and sailing across European waters… it just felt a little prophetic.
What did I discover? Despite how excited I get about the idea of maritime life, I am completely clueless about ships. Seriously. There’s a whole glossary of words, three pages long– that I have no idea about. Gaff? Jib? Leach? Shrouds? It goes on and on. But as I read more and more bout the haphazard international sails of a tiny, leaky sailboat named Claire– I started to learn bit by bit. I started to understand, on a whole new level, how difficult it all is, how unpredictable the sea is, how much supplies matter.
It was just an op-shopping morning in Greerton, but God reminded me of my heart for the ocean, for ships, for adventure.
Yet I was also reminded of a quote from Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth.
How can you love ignorant, brutish people whom you don’t even know? Can anyone love filth and squalor? Or lice and rats? Who can love aching weariness, and carry on working, in spite of it? One cannot love these things. One can only love God, and through His grace come to love His people.
It’s because of the love of God.
And as YWAM learned so many years ago… it’s never about the ship. It’s about Jesus. And as I learned a few weeks ago, it’s never just about the adventure– that will get hard and sea-sicky and horrible. It’s about the humans Jesus loves.
One day, when I’m throwing up my guts over the side of a sail boat, I’ll remember that, nothing else. Jesus and his love for the people in the farthest corners of the Pacific.
That makes me excited.