Kynance Cove is often tipped to be the most picturesque beach in the whole of Cornwall, famous for its white sand, turquoise sea and jagged rock stacks. And I was pumped about going there. 

So we went down on the first day of our holiday last week, but a perfect combination of heaving crowds chowing Cornish ice cream, a really long walk from the extra-overflow overflow car park, only intermittent sunshine and a small accident involving a body board, my face and a surprisingly large amount of blood, meant that I didn’t have a particularly significant time! I decided I needed a second visit. And I’m so pleased I did.

The second time was a whole different experience. I went for an early morning run down to the cove and found the place deserted under clear blue sky, with no noise but the gently lapping waves and pure white sand beneath my feet. Heaven! 

And as I stood there soaking in the warm sun on my face and the astonishing beauty of my surroundings, I felt compelled to write part of the Lord’s Prayer into the sand. So, I bent over and wrote with my finger… 

“Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.” 

And then I spent some time thinking about the things I’ve done wrong. The times I’ve come up short. The times I’ve judged, hurt, insulted and ignored. And then I spent some time thinking about the people I needed to forgive. And I forgave them there and then. And then I watched.

I watched as the waves slowly encroached up the beach. It took a few minutes for the rising tide to get as far as my writing but, once it had, a few swift waves gently rubbed my writing away until there was no evidence of me having ever written in the sand. And in that moment God reminded me quite how far he has removed our transgressions (our sins) from us. Further than the horizon. Further than the width of the vast Atlantic sea I was staring at. As far as the east is from the west. Completely. 

Just as there was no more trace on my writing in the sand. Just as my marks were completely erased. So is my sin.

Then I took a deep breath, turned around, and ran home for breakfast. And I’m sure I felt lighter on the way back…