Prayers from the Island Dolphins’ Dance

Dolphins’ Dance

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  Some days, as I walk on the beach, the dolphins seem to be playing with me, dancing off shore, changing direction as I change direction, watching and entertaining me.  I remember the day my husband and I put a deposit on our island lot.  As we returned to the campground, we saw dolphins in the water, cavorting and playing, seeming to put their stamp of approval on the bold move we were making.  How blessed we are!  Our creator has placed us in a world intended for joy and happiness, a world first made perfect.  Sometimes we glimpse that perfection and, like the dolphins, can only celebrate our creator’s greatness.  I thank you Lord, for the dolphins’ dance and for the beautiful world you’ve shared with us. Amen.

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Beware of Splinters!Beware of Splinters!

The sign posted near the boardwalk warns that there is construction going on; “Beware of Splinters” it proclaims.  I lift my feet as I walk, careful not to slide them along in a slouchy gait that has become habitual.  Why, I wonder, do I too often drag my feet along, as if they’re heavy to raise?  Am I like that in my daily religious walk as well, sliding along, picking up splinters and then wondering why my feet are sore?  Perhaps I am, moving heavily through my days, finding petty matters to complain about, and whining when everything isn’t as I might like.  Forgive me, Lord, for picking up splinters instead of moving through the day and the gifts you’ve given me with joy and wonder.  Help me raise my feet and my spirits in response to your unending goodness. Amen.

Dressing RightDressing Right

When I consider what to wear for my beach walk every morning, I take into account the previous evening’s weather forecast.  I check the thermometer on the porch, and I walk outside to see how windy it is.  All these factors determine if I’ll walk in my bathing suit, shorts, blue jeans, jacket or raincoat.  Sadly, I spend almost no time thinking about the approaching day’s behavior.  How will I dress to do God’s work?  Will I, like Paul, seek to put on the armor of Christ?  Do I try to select behavior that’s appropriate to my Christian beliefs?  Will I contact and visit someone who’s lonely, write a note for someone who needs cheering, or wipe tears from the eyes of someone who’s hurting?  Forgive me, Lord, when I spend my time outfitting myself to be comfortable in this life and giving too little thought for the comfort of others here and now.  Please help me dress appropriately in thought and spirit to do your work in the world. Amen.

Turtle TracksTurtle Tracks

 It’s sea turtle season on the island, a time when sea turtles come ashore at night, dig holes, deposit their eggs, cover the nest and return to the sea.  The eggs and the hatchlings are on their own from this point.  Now abandoned, the nests can be identified by the giant flipper trails of the mother and by the hurriedly covered nest, sand disturbed.  Various creatures hunt avidly for the ping-pong ball-like eggs, sometimes waiting for them to mature a bit and then gorging on an entire nest’s contents.  Raccoons particularly love to feast on the eggs, filling themselves to satiety.  A ‘turtle patrol’ group drives over the beach early each morning, hunting for nests and then protecting them with heavy mesh or wire.  Those who live on the beach are asked to extinguish all lights that shine on the water.  Hatching turtles break from their eggs on a night when moon light on the water reveals path to ocean access.  If there are conflicting lights, the tiny turtles may move in the wrong direction, deeper ashore, right into the jaws of waiting predators.  I think of ‘good light’ and ‘bad light’.  St. John speaks so often of Christ who is ‘the light of the world’.  But there are other lights—lights that lead us in the wrong direction, lights that are artificial and dangerous.  I pray, Heavenly Father, that you will help each of us recognize your light of truth and salvation; don’t let us be fooled by the false lights that lead us to peril.