Change

I received a letter from an old friend today.  Her health is not good, and I worry about her future.  I don’t want things to change!  Living on an island I have grown accustomed to change, difficult as that may be.  The beach itself varies from day to day, widening and narrowing the places I walk, removing vegetation or depositing new seedlings.  And yet I want to hold unto the known and the familiar, reluctant to release what I have come to love.  O Lord, please help me see that change is the essence of our earthly lives.  I need to appreciate with more open awareness the beauty of the moment so I can recall its absence with love and happiness.  Forgive me for holding too fiercely to the past, blinding myself to the future joys prepared for me by you.  I pray that you would open my clenched fists—may they be hands stretched wide to embrace each moment of my life—hands open to reach out for your hand. Amen.

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Quiet TimesQuiet Times

   There are days when I walk on the beach and greet everyone I pass with a smile, a nod, and a brief “Hello!”, Other days, like today, I feel cocooned in my own thoughts, almost oblivious of others as they pass me.  Like the sea itself, our energies and thoughts sometimes ebb and flow, focused inward or outward, depending on the day’s needs.  I ask you, dear Father, to make both perspectives profitable.  May I have quiet time when I can turn my thoughts inward to touch your face and feel close to the Christ who lives within me.  But may I never lose balance—may I also remember to turn my energies outward, reaching for the Christ who resides in others.  Help me, like the sea itself, to maintain a measured balance.

Beach FunBeach Fun

  What a beautiful day!  A cool wind blowing in from the north flattened the waves and made their meeting with the shore a subdued union.  Despite the cool breeze (I in my jacket, naturally), I watched people in shorts and bathing suits enjoying the sun and the sand, throwing Frisbees, jumping in the wet sand, and fishing at the ocean’s edge.  I love to watch families or individuals at play it lets me witness something simultaneously private and public.  Surely our laughter is part of the godliness that resides in us, a gift Adam and Eve took with them even as they left the Garden. I believe we share God’s delight in His world when we laugh with one another over something as wholesome as the water and the shore.  I can’t help but smile just watching His children celebrating.  I think you, Dear Father, for reminding me that sun, wind, sand and ocean are reason enough to laugh, even when small ills trouble me.  Thank you for the wonderful gift of laughter to celebrate!

Yes, It’s RealYes, It’s Real

I saw an oystercatcher today, a large bird that inhabits tidal flats.  A friend bought me a dish in a local gift shop with an oystercatcher painted on it, and insisted that we had to see one for the dish to be ‘authentic’ as a souvenir.  I had to laugh with her; so often I too have my tests for authenticity; I must see before I can believe something is legitimate.  I’m reminded of Doubting Thomas  who couldn’t accept the disciples’ word that Jesus had appeared before them.  Thomas insisted on actually witnessing the risen Lord, touching the wounds and verifying them for himself.  Jesus didn’t even berate Thomas’ doubts; he understood that faith grows by testing and wondering, even by doubting.  I thank you, Lord, for today’s oystercatcher sighting, and for your patient understanding of my own tests of faith.  While I may doubt you, I know your love for me never wavers.  I thank and praise you. Amen.