2024-02-22 11:32:36

2024-02-22 11:32:36

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Sharing the IslandSharing the Island

   I began my walk this morning when a neighbor waved to me.  She is going through a very difficult time; she confessed that her life seems without value and meaning.  As we walked and talked, I could feel her despair and pain.  It would be wonderful to think my words or my company “cured” her, but I know that’s not the case.  The causes of her difficulties, the problems themselves, still exist.  However, I do believe that God can use a simple, random meeting for His good.  What may seem random can be purposeful, intentional in God’s plan.  In an email later that afternoon, my friend talked about our shared time.  She walked on feeling less alone, feeling she had shared pain but experienced a healing, feeling God’s touch upon her, even during a quiet walk.  Each of us is on a walk, O Lord, a walk that sometimes is slowed by pain, by grief, by doubts.  Help us find your chosen companions on these walks, and help us to be just such a companion to others.

Fourth of July!Fourth of July!

Fourth of July!  If ever there is a summer celebration, it is this day when patriotism, vacations, and perfect outdoor weather coincide.  I’ll do my walk early this morning to avoid crowded roads and beaches.  The air will be ripe with the scent of hamburgers and hot dogs grilling, steaks over hot coals, damp potato chips and coleslaw.  I’ll hear children squealing in the surf, throwing bits of bun to seagulls, shouting as they run up and down the beach.  Tonight there will be fireworks that split the darkness and shower sparks of living color.  So much to celebrate, so many reasons to be grateful.  We are a free country, a freedom dearly bought and purchased with the death and sacrifices of those who defended her.  In the same way, I am free from sin and the permanence of death, a freedom purchased by the blood and death of Jesus Christ.  What reason to celebrate!  Lord, I come to your Sacramental Table to remember your sacrifice and to honor the anniversary of this occasion.  Please help me never forget my reason to celebrate freedom and the price you paid.

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.