Winter Waves

The wind today is particularly aggressive and our little portion of Lake Michigan is turbulent. As I drove up the lakefront after work I noticed how violent and unsettled the water was. I could see the whitecaps all the way to the horizon and the waves breaking closer to shore reminded me of the ocean, crashing into each other at improbable angles. They seemed to be approaching from both the southeast and the northeast. The water was the color of coffee with just the right amount of cream. 

It wasn’t the first time I sat in that lot and took a crummy phone video of the waves to show my family. There is something that pulls me in there whenever they are active. 

I wasn’t alone. Several photographers arrived with cameras with long lenses around their neck. One squatted down to get the perfect angle. Another set up a tripod. Over on the beach, surfers were rejoicing. A mother shivered next to her son who pointed at the breaking waves. A father called his daughter off the rocks. Couples walked past and a runner stopped and sat on the rocks for a few minutes. People in work clothes jumped out with their phones for a few shots and people in sweats posed for pictures with the waves behind them. We were all pulled to the water. 

I realized the waves looked like how my heart feels – unsettled, at odds, moving in different directions. I wondered if others’ hearts felt the same. 

In this time of an unsettled heart, I am consoled by the plea heard in today’s Responsorial Psalm. “Let my cry come to you. Do not hide your face from me in the day of my distress.” (Ps 102: 2-3) Yes! This is our cry when the waves are crashing.

I wonder if God sees the same beauty in our turbulent hearts that we see in the turbulent lake. I think he does. I think it is in those times when we feel out of control and we cry out to him that he smiles, not because he is glad we are troubled, but because we go to him. At any moment he can still the water and our hearts. 

And he does. “The LORD looked down from his holy height, from heaven he beheld the earth,

To hear the groaning of the prisoners, to release those doomed to die.” (Ps 102: 20-21) He hears our cry, he sees our distress, and he rescues us. He sent his Son to save us from death and he comforts us when the waves in our heart are churned up. He is so very good. 

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Merridith Frediani’s perfect day includes prayer, writing, unrushed morning coffee, reading, tending to dahlias, and playing Sheepshead with her husband and three kids.  She loves finding God in the silly and ordinary.  She writes for Ascension Press, Catholic Mom, and her local Catholic Herald in Milwaukee. Her first book Draw Close to Jesus: A Woman’s Guide to Eucharistic Adoration is expected to be released summer 2021. You can reach her at

Feature Image Credit: photo taken by Merridith Frediani