Today I found three wounded starfish on the beach, each missing a leg. They were touching one another. I couldn’t determine if they had been one another’s victims or were tending to the pain of one another. In either case, I was reminded that too often I mean to care for people but inadvertently end up hurting them instead. I say things that I’ve heard others say without thinking how apt these words might or might not be. Please God, help me know how to be loving, how to be gentle, how to be helpful without clumsily wounding by my actions and words. I need to examine my own motives and then learn to love without hope of gain or profit. Help me to love as Jesus loved—openly and inclusively. Amen.