Encountering Christ | The Day I met Jesus at the Beach

**Disclaimer: I wholly acknowledge the possibility that this man was not Jesus. He could have been an angel or just another common man. But something in our encounter stirs my soul with significance – recognition in his words and demeanour. I would rather be wrong, than dismiss an encounter with Christ. For that reason, I will honour my intuition. 


We ran as a family down the familiar trail path- past the zigzag bridge, over the hills and through the park. We landed at the beach. Stopping for missy’s sake, we entertained child’s play- running over jungle gyms and flying down slides. We visited briefly with neighbours, then made our way down to the beach.

This beach has been home to many encounters with Christ – all of which, my nose was immersed in The Word and my heart, deep in prayer.

This beach has become holy, in the eight years we’ve lived here.

The sun danced across the water, for the first time, in what felt like months.

My soul was downcast. I recognized it, acknowledging just yesterday, the darkness around me: depression. I was in a pit I couldn’t explain away.

Just that morning I had surrendered, asking Jesus, yet again, to fill every crevice of my being with His love and Light and Power- that He would overtake and transform me, divinely, in every way available to a human being.

Because to the fullest measure available, I want Jesus- always more.

On the east end of the beach we met a man, quite ordinary looking- middle Eastern, or European, if I had to guess. His eyes were closed, chin lifted to the sun. His mouth was moving- muttering prayers, I assumed. Something in me recognized his posture.

As we passed, he made eye contact.

“Hello.” I gestured.

He gave a simple nod.

As we turned, I spotted him watching us intently, his gaze following.

We passed him again. This time, he knelt to missy’s level.

“Hello.” He said, his voice firm, yet gentle.

He had an accent I couldn’t quite peg.

“What’s your name?” He asked her.

Silence followed, as she searched the sand.

I answered for her. I knew she couldnt.

He laughed a sly smile and looked up at me.

“I was talking to her.” 

“Oh, I know,” I defended, “But she doesn’t speak much.” 

“Let her speak.” He responded, as if ignoring me…

“Excuse me?!” I thought, my pride wounded. “Who are you, to speak like that.” 

Missy resumed walking, my pride glad for the escape.

“Looks like we’re off!” I faked nicety.

A few steps forward I turned, my ego needing another look… Still he watched us, a grin upon his face.

“Leave her,”  he said, now pointing to missy’s inquisition of the Canada Goose. “They understand each other.” 

The goose had one leg. Worried she’d agitate him, I warned again. “Be careful, Sweety. Give the goose space.” 

I turned to acknowledge the man.

“Looks like the goose is hurt. Only has one leg.” 

“No,” He said, firmly, “She’s doing yoga… it’s a good thing.” 

I laughed. Funny, I thought.

“There’s a reason for it- the yoga…”  He followed up.

I was silent- perplexed. This was a strange man. Not only was he forward, His speech was cryptic, as if I knew the hidden meaning… as if he wanted me to ask another question.

But I didn’t- neither understand or ask.

I simply turned and kept walking.

I was puzzled and a little unsure about him; hurt even, by his authoritative, forward nature.

He was gentle, but his firmness cut me like a knife.

Minutes later, I turned to see him leaving, walking away, down the trail path we’d shortly return.


“What did He mean?” My soul tangled.

I felt like I had missed something.

Part of me wanted to chase after him, but I didn’t know why.

Only later, did I discover potential meaning, as if my spirit revealed His hidden message:

Let others speak first, Kailey. Don’t be so quick to talk. Listen. Let them surprise you.

Yoga: there’s a purpose to standing on one foot- learning to rest and balance in weakness. There, we find strength and peace, beyond circumstance.

Suddenly, I understood.

My soul affirmed it, as I read Jesus’ words the next morning in my bible: firm, yet gentle- authoritative and spoken in cryptic metaphor.

In the same way Jesus spoke to the woman at the well, this man had spoken to me. His posture and demeanour, identical.

Just like Jesus, He showed up in the middle of ordinary life, while on a morning family run, to redirect and change my heart.


This man had spoken life into two dark areas of my heart- places I’m currently wrestling and need assurance of his sovereignty in:

  1. my incessant need to speak and be understood-  and

  2. my current season of life, full of weakness and imbalance.

Gentle yet firm, this man, who I believe now to be Jesus, pointed me to Truth-  to the strength and peace I’m so desperately craving, in difficult, uneasy waters.


I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” –  Johns 16″33



When you want to experience Jesus and know he’s real without a shadow of doubt

I feel all sorts of goofy and giddy; like the beginning of young love. My heart beats fast, I blush when I realize he’s looking at me and I’ll find just about any excuse to be alone with him.

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I break out in song because every one feels like the perfect ballot to belt out my love. I’ve picked about twelve songs that feel like “ours” right now.

But the truth is, this isn’t the first time I’ve fallen in love with him, nor the second. And yet it feels like new love all over again. He’s arrested my heart and stolen my devotion for the 100th time.

Unreserved, unrestrained, your love is wild, Your love is wild for me,

It isn’t shy, it’s unashamed your love is proud to be seen with me

You don’t give your heart in pieces, you don’t hide yourself to tease us

Uncontrolled, uncontained, your love is a fire
Burning bright for me

It’s not just a spark , its not just a flame your love is a light
That all the world will see  – Pieces | Amanda Cook

Like the flood gates of grace have opened up again and the dam breaks, his love rushing over me. I’m swimming in it; overcome by it.


I can smell the sweet scent of a man I love dearly and see his love letters tucked in every nook and cranny. Some say happenstance, but I know better

… know better than to believe he’s not my bridegroom, madly in love with me, ever persistent in his pursuit of all my heart; of my total surrender to his all consuming love.


Call me a fool but I’m a fool in love.

In love with a man who loved me enough to die for me.

In love with a father who adores me to pieces.

In love with a Spirit who belts my deepest heart cries.

With all the sand that fills the hourglass
With every breath between my first and last

I love You
I’m trying to
Love You more
I’m ready
Please help me
Love You more – Nichol Nordeman | Love you More 




Prayer is such a huge topic and I won’t pretend to have all the answers. But what I do know is this:

My entire faith changed and so did my prayer life when I began these two practices:


Meditative Prayer

Closing my eyes, envisioning Jesus in front of me and sharing my heart with him; my honest, unfiltered and unreserved thoughts and feelings. And then waiting…. and listening for his response.

Sometimes I’ll simply turn on worship music, lie down and close my eyes. I’ll invite the Holy Spirit to speak to me and then wait in silence. Sometimes he shows me visions, sometimes I see pictures, other times words or phrases come to mind. But whatever comes, I sit in it and allow it to wash over me, trusting his leading.

There are lots of difference ways to do meditative prayer. I personally used the guided encounters in Heart Made Whole and Guided Encounters by Christa Black Gifford to learn this practice and have adapted it to suit my personal prayer life. 


Writing Out and Praying God’s Word back to Him 

I was challenged to try reading the bible like I would a novel, without analyzing and studying it, just letting it hit me and stir me naturally. And when it did, to write it out.

I started in Ephesians and began to make my way through the epistles (letters). An amazing thing happened: almost every line caused me to stop and think. It was something I wanted for myself, something I felt convicted by, advice or encouragement I wanted to share with a friend or  a new revelation of sorts. I would write whatever it was out – sometimes a single passage, other times entire paragraphs – personalizing it for myself or for those I love. Finally I would then pray it back to God. 

I cannot explain what followed other than this: I now know with my heart and not just my head that God’s word is powerful! And he most definitely watches over his word to perform it. When we pray it, he hears us and we can count it already ours! 

I have seen miracle after miracle after changed heart and behaviour – in myself and others – since beginning this practice. And it’s rocking my world. 

An Ever Persistent Pursuit

It was early, much earlier than I normally think to walk but the call to get outside was almost audible.

Just before I headed out I grabbed my bible, unsure why or where I’d get a chance to read. Little did I know He had a plan…


As I walked the old familiar path it was as if my eyes were seeing it for the very first time. My heart was so full of gratitude and joy, I could hardly contain it.

I can’t describe the feeling other than love- those butterfly beginnings of falling in love.

Then I opened my bible to this passage:


I literally had to laugh out loud. Really God?! That’s what you’re doing?

You see six years ago, my faith looked vastly different and I had yet to encounter, let alone grasp the concept of who Jesus is and how much he loved me.

I was still striving desperately to be a good person, do great things and make something of myself. I was still trying to earn love and acceptance… from not only God, but my friends, family – even myself.

But in this place, I found home and along the inlet trail, Jesus met me, revealed himself and began a transformational work in my heart. 

In the busyness of motherhood, I’d become angry, allowing the challenges of this season to steal my joy. I’d lost perspective, if only temporarily. I was frustrated that my encounters with God felt “lacking” and his nearness distant in the last few weeks.

But we both know that’s not the truth. It was me. It’s always me… who pulls away and chooses to be distant.

But in His ever persistent pursuing, he was bringing me back to the place where he first woo’d me like a man courting his bride- to the place I first met Jesus and so began my love affair.

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Because up until then, I had only known religion. But it was here in this place, along these vary trails, that He showed me it wasn’t about allegiance but more like falling in love.

Yes that was what I was feeling; I was completely and totally overcome by His Love for me.