Float in God's embrace, Adjoa Andoh's retreat reflection for National Retreat Week - renew:all

Adjoa Andoh is an actor, writer and producer you’ll probably recognise from hit shows and films such as Bridgerton, Invictus and Doctor Who, or dozens of productions across stage and screen. 

Transport yourself out to sea with Adjoa’s restorative reflection for National Retreat Week – renew:all. There’s an audio file linked below to aid your sense of tranquility as you read, you’ll see when it’s time to play. 

Float in God’s embrace

Towards the end of Summer I start my day in the usual blissful way, swimming out to a point off the coast where I can face the rising sun.

Floating comfortably in the sea,

I sing a hymn and pray for my family, friends, and the world,

As the day begins.

Then I lie face down in the clear water and let the sea carry the weight of me.

The sensation of being held in creation is heartening,

Suspended in the element from which we first emerged,

Cells fusing together, forerunners of our ancestors.

I long to let the creator take the weight,

To let my body rest in creation.

I am reminded of the poem – Footprints in the Sand

Perhaps written by Mary Stevenson in 1939.

Its provenance disputed, its encouragement nonetheless powerful.

‘One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.

Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.

In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.

Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,

other times there were one set of footprints.

This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life,

when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat,

I could see only one set of footprints.

So I said to the Lord, “You promised me Lord,

that if I followed you,

you would walk with me always.

But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life

there have only been one set of footprints in the sand.

Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?”

The Lord replied,

“The time when you have seen only one set of footprints,

is when I carried you.”’


Floating in the creator’s sea I feel the relief of being carried.

I remember all the times I have felt myself buckling under the weight of life’s challenges

And reflect with gratitude on the God who is carrying me

Even when in my distress I lose sight of that divine holding.

Here is the sound of that sea,

An image of daybreak against its backdrop.

Perhaps wherever we are, we can pause,

Hold the image and the sound in our mind’s eye,

Imagine ourselves floating on the seas sustaining waters,

And find refreshment,

As we reflect on the eternal presence of our creator God,

Holding us buoyant in all circumstances

And in this moment perhaps, we can let go the weight of our lives, as Jesus encourages us to do:

‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.’


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