Isn’t it interesting how quickly vacation becomes a distant memory? A surreal kind of time and space that you know happened—you have proof—but you are no longer abiding there. I looked in the mirror this morning and my sun-kissed skin is fading. Fast. I no longer look like I just stepped in off the beach. I no longer can catch a whiff of the brine of the ocean, and I vaguely remember the raucous call of the gulls.
Perhaps that is why I write about our times away. Maybe this is why I am compelled to record the events, thoughts and feelings—so I don’t forget. In order to thwart spiritual amnesia.
Treasure hunting at the beach is a hit or miss kind of endeavor. You can walk for a mile down the shoreline with nothing but seaweed tangling in your feet and broken shells littering the hard packed sand. Sometimes a lone feather will lay in the grit, light and airy—but only one. I’m not sure I understand this since there are a hundred birds flying a path across that stretch.
Yes, vacation can become a surreal memory, but what I loved and enjoyed and appreciated most about this year’s vacation were the people we spent our days with—eight were Scalfs.
Our friends and our pastors.
|Dave and Rachael (his youngest child)|
|Amy capturing Wyatt's attempts to master the waves.|
We joined Scalf family on the sandy shores just south of Clearwater. They went ahead of us and were entrenched in the beach life for a week before we got there. We walked through the doors on a Saturday afternoon and we could sense the ease of the loosened schedule of life at the beach.
We were about to live six days with each other—in the midst of sticky sand and salty water. In the middle of the chaos that twelve people doing life together brings.
I was nervous, but I should have known better.
If ever a couple exudes the concept of Love Does these two do. I have learned more about practical and applicable faith from Dave and Amy than anyone else. The concept of faith having feet fleshes out in these two people. Their faith wears flip-flops and Crocs.
Dave and Amy constantly encourage people to love. No, really love. Not just to say the words or mouth the sentiment. The love they preach and teach and attempt to live has dirt under its fingernails because it has been in the nitty-gritty part of life. It has pitched its tent where things are ugly and untidy and messy. It shows up when we are dirty and tired and worn out.
The love Dave and Amy teach loves even when pretty is not a description that can be applied.Dave and Amy have six children. And I love them all. In each one of them glimpses of their parents break through like pin-lights. Little things. Small details. During the week with them I understood even more about love being messy. Loving when things are broken. Loving when things aren’t perfect. Loving when life is interesting and anything but.
While we were driving home from vacation Dave and Amy were a few hours behind us, but Dave kept giving updates on Facebook. Most of the time I cracked up—laughing so hard I thought I might pee my pants. Dave and Amy seem to have this gift of holding life and all of its curve balls and events lightly and loosely. There’s a flexibility in them that has been stretched by sheer grace. By unlimited mercy. And they would tell you they have seen plenty of both—they would tell you they live and thrive on the mercy and grace of God. They live from a unique vantage point of grace.
But here’s what they wouldn’t tell you.
They wouldn’t tell you about the grace they extend. The generosity they shower on people is just daily protocol for them. Steve and I have been recipients of their generosity too many times to count. Often in the midst of their own pain and their own struggles they have reached out to us. Helped us wade through the muck and the mire.
During vacation this generosity magnified. During our six days with them we loved them more. How often can you spend six days in tight quarters with twelve people and come away loving them more?
We are at different stages in our lives. We have different giftings. We approach life from different angles.
Yet there is this familiarity. This kinship.
Jesus said these words. Stated these facts—pure and simple. What you hold most dear, most precious and prized, that’s where the affections and attentions of your heart will reside.
Dave and Amy are treasures. Is that cheesy? Then so be it. The cheese doesn’t negate the truth of the assessment.
My faith wears work boots now partly because of Dave’s teaching and Amy’s example. Our lives are a good bit richer because of the investment these two people pour into my husband, my children and me.
I didn’t have to go to the beach to find these treasures. Didn’t have to scour for them. Or sift through the sand or fight the tide. They are part of my everyday messy life.
|Dave and Amy Scalf--Treasures. Period.|
Side note: Find David Scalf on Facebook. Right now he is in the middle of a 40 Day Amen Challenge: Finding and counting reasons every day to say Amen!