Prayers from the Island Breakfast on the Beach

Breakfast on the Beach

I smelled something cooking when I walked this morning. I came upon a family breakfasting on the beach, the scent of frying bacon like a beacon in the morning dimness. I thought of the attraction of eating beside the ocean, of feeding both body and mind with the peace and rhythm of the waves. Jesus had a charcoal fire waiting for his disciples when they brought in their nets loaded with fish. It appears they cooked the fish and broke bread together, always first giving thanks and praise to God. The nets straining with the weight of fish that morning may have been a miracle, but each day’s bread is a miracle, and a table set on the beach an added gift. I thank you, Lord, for this day’s bread and for all my daily needs which you grant, and for letting me walk beside the shore and refresh my soul. Amen.

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Dew DropsDew Drops

I walked early this morning, just after first light had touched the island.  On the wooden walk over the dune, I saw tiny dewdrops suspended at the tip of each sea oats blade.  How beautiful they looked, these tiny globes, reflecting the morning sun easing over the horizon.  We’ve had no rain for weeks now, and yet these dewdrops were lifted from the morning air to slake the thirst of dune grasses.  In just this fashion God tends his world, providing nourishment and fresh water, even here on an island surrounded by salty water.  Like that sea oat, I too am fed each day, my spiritual well-being cultivated through prayer and scripture.  Thank you, Lord, for the drops of water you give me each day.  May I use your nourishment to grow stronger in my faith, and may I learn to share that faith with others. Amen.

Finding the SunFinding the Sun

Our sun room faces south, with windows open to the east and west.  Each morning, as we read the newspaper, we draw shades on those windows whose glare makes reading difficult.  Slowly as the year progresses, the sun changes its angle; we, in turn, have to close different shades.  I think of the sun as a permanent fixture, and yet in my own life it seems to shift and move.  I know, scientifically, it is the earth whose position varies, but still the sun appears to move.  Sometimes I think God shifts and moves away from me, withdrawing his favor or his attention.  In my heart I know it is I who have moved; God remains fixed and in place.  Forgive me, Lord, for my wanderings from you side—please turn me about so that always I walk toward you. Amen.

Crab WalkingCrab Walking

I love to watch ghost crabs run, their bodies moving sideways with great speed. Unlike most creatures whose movements are either directly ahead or back, crabs sidle, going off in unexpected angles and tangents. At times they’ve scurried over my feet, shocking us both, their direction unpredictable. Perhaps I’m more crablike than I want to admit. My walk of faith should proceed forward, as God intends, but too often I move in different directions, unwilling to take the steps ahead that I know I should choose. There are good reasons, I tell myself, why it’s impossible to help with this event, to call someone who’s lonely, to visit a sick acquaintance. I’m too busy to be expected to volunteer, to serve on a committee, to extend my Bible study time. Good, good reasons. And so I sidle away from what I know is right, running at top speed side-wise, trying to maintain my relationship with God but unwilling to make the necessary commitments. Forgive me, please Father, my repeated refusals to accompany you. Help me place my hand in yours and walk straight ahead as you guide, and excuse my tugs to the side. Amen.