2023-02-02 10:55:57

2023-02-02 10:55:57

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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.

Sometime SoonSometime Soon

Sometimes I collect an unfamiliar shell on my beach walk to bring home and identify. As I examine the photographs and paragraphs detailing the unique specifics of various shells, I’m overwhelmed with my lack of knowledge. I live on this island permanently, and yet I know so very little about even the most common shells under my feet. Each time I close the shell guide, I promise myself that “sometime soon” I’ll sit down and begin a careful study, but I haven’t yet. My attention is focused somewhere else, and I put the book away. I’m afraid too often I’m like that about my Bible study as well. I live among gifts of God’s grace, encountering examples of love and forgiveness throughout my day’s walk. Like shells, they are abundant wherever I step. Still, I vaguely promise to study in depth the book God has revealed to me “sometime soon” but not quite yet. Father, forgive me please my failure to attend to your word and your wishes. Help me focus more intently on you and the book of revelation you’ve given to all of us. Amen.

Cry in the DarkCry in the Dark

 Last night as I lay in bed, I heard an owl hooting softly in the darkness.  I thought of the terror that ‘hoot’ must bring to the small and even larger creatures who live in harmony with us—crabs, mice, snakes, feral cats, young raccoons and possums—all must listen to that sound with fear in their hearts, burrowing deeper into whatever secure niche they’ve found.  I think too, as I lay there, of the sounds I hear in the night that trouble me—an ambulance racing past, the shriek of a wounded animal, even voices from my past that accuse or blame me, voices that name sins I’ve committed.  I thank you, Lord, for the secure niche you’ve given me, and the assurance that in your love I am forgiven.  May I ask forgiveness of others and grant it to all who’ve wronged me.  May my night be a time of peaceful rest. Amen.