A New Shell

This morning I found a shell I’d never seen before in this area.  I brought it home carefully in the palm of my hand, set it down gently, and went off to locate it in my shell book.  It was a denuded sea urchin, a lovely pale pink globe with raised white dots that look almost like pearls.  I was pleased to see it pictured in my book because then it became somehow more real, more documented.  My Bible too provides me with the authenticity I need.  It isn’t enough for me simply to hear others speak of Jesus—I need to read His words, learn of His miracles, recite His promises.  Just as I can appreciate and better understand the origins of this new shell when I read about it, so too I improve the basis of my faith when I regularly turn to God’s book and read its contents.  I thank you, Father, that you have provided me with the greatest reference book of all.  Please help me to spend more serious time studying it and growing in my knowledge and understanding of you. Amen.

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Composting is good for my garden and the planet

ReuseReuse

Composting is good for my garden and the planet  My husband and I carefully compost all of our vegetable scraps, rarely using the garbage disposal or putting extra burden on our septic tank.  Before we moved to the island, I never composted, simply flushing waste matter down the drain for the garbage disposal.  Here there is no soil, only sand.  The compost we generate is rich in the nutrients my plants and garden require.  What an efficient world you’ve created for us, dear Lord!  What we waste is not really wasted, but now used to help produce what we need.  I thank you for the bounty of this earth and for the bounty that bounty produces, again and again.  Surely your love for us is manifested even in this simple, earthy gift. Amen.

Growing AnewGrowing Anew

Sometimes I see a live starfish on the beach that has lost one of its arms, perhaps in a skirmish, perhaps because of a fishing hook. A biological station nearby on the mainland is attempting to discover how starfish are able to reproduce missing appendages; what triggers in them the ability to generate nerve tissue so the new limb has full feeling? Obviously the research is vital for humans as well, since we lack the capacity to regrow arms and legs that have been amputated. When I see a starfish with a budding limb, newly forming, I appreciate the small miracle before me. But there are greater miracles than these, my faith tells me. Because of my deliberate refusal to obey God, to accept his role in my life, to live as He demands, I inhabit a body corrupted by sin. And yet, through God’s grace, I am continually reformed, reshaped, and reanimated, able to grow from a sinful past into a perfected state. I thank you, Lord, that you allow me to regrow my spirit and my faith, deepening, extending, and regenerating in me your presence and your grace. Amen.

MockingbirdMockingbird

Early one morning recently, I heard a collection of birds outside my window, each of them calling, one after the other.  I was able to trace the sound to a tree near my window when I discovered, to my shock, that all of these sounds were coming from one single bird!  I was being serenaded by a mockingbird and, true to his name, this bird was mocking or mimicking the sounds of other birds—and even insects.  How remarkable this is, to think one bird could so beautifully capture the calls and the sounds of so many other sources.  I thought of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came upon the followers of Jesus, giving each of them the gift of communication, each in his own language.  The word of God could be told in the local tongue, whatever that may be.  Like this bird, we are given the gift of communication; we can share the story of God’s love in our own language, and it will be heard by others in their tongue.  Thank you, God, for the ability to tell of your love in every language of the world. Amen.