Prayers from the Island Crushed Shells

Crushed Shells

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During this afternoon’s beach walk, I noticed footprints that attempted to crush each intact shell in their path.  Remnants of shattered shells lay in the pattern this person had left behind.  I wondered by someone would knowingly crush the whole shells, but then realized sometimes I do the same thing.  I see people’s success or happiness and try to undercut it in my jealousy, resenting their achievements over mine.  Why should they succeed, I wonder, when I have failed?  Help me, Heavenly Father, to remember through Christ we are all one body.  The success of my brothers or sisters is my success too; their share in my joy is equal.  May I walk with you, Lord, careful not to crush the achievements and the happiness of others.  May I tread alertly and lovingly all my days. Amen.

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Fog and FaithFog and Faith

  What a beautiful morning!  We walked on the beach bare armed and bare footed, catching our breath when the cold water washed over our feet.  By noon a thick fog began to roll in, penetrating spaces between trees and shrubs, lowering its drape over the water.  How quickly the weather can change here, shifting from mood to mood.  How quickly my faith can change too!  I commit myself totally one minute, and just a brief interlude later find myself doubting and questioning.  Dear Father, you’ve given us a changeable world with changeable weather and changeable fashions.  Remind me that even my questions and doubts are part of my faith, encouraged and enabled by you, steps leading me deeper into the true belief you offer. Amen.

Empty CallsEmpty Calls

Just before morning’s light, a whip-poor-will settles in the tree outside my window and begins his monotonous “whip-poor-will” cry. Again and again, breaking the stillness of the night, I hear his plaintive call. He never varies its pitch or rhythm—just the same notes repeated, echoing. Sometimes I worry that my prayer life resembles the monotonous cry of that bird. I bring with me in preparation for my talk with God a laundry list of “Please do this,” and “Complaints I want you to hear,” and “ Here’s how I think these things should be handled.” Then I wonder why my time with God seems sterile and fruitless. Lord, it’s difficult sometimes for me to think and feel what I am saying to you; my mind wanders as I touch on various subjects and I lose focus. Please forgive me when I waste my prayer time. Help me to attend to our time together, keep my heart, mind and spirit in your reach and help me learn to be silent to hear your responses. Forgive my empty calls in the night. Amen.

Whipping WindsWhipping Winds

The wind is whipping clouds across the sky this morning, and waves are chewing larger and larger portions of the beach.  I watch the gulls strain to get lift, finding it difficult to locate an updraft.  Many of the shore birds have cancelled their flights, so the beach looks like a major airport runway, birds lined up waiting for take-off commands, but delayed.   Circling in gusts and waves, the wind seems to come from all directions at once; I’m always facing it, being jerked about by blasts that come from somewhere else.  Sometimes problems seem like that.  When I think one issue is settled, another circles and another until I feel caught in a funnel of difficulties.  At such times I particularly need you, dear Lord.  Help me stand still, quiet in your presence.  Let me feel the power of your love, directing me in the path you know best.  May the Holy Spirit’s breath be the only wind that moves me. Amen.