Kelly Clem

Kelly Clem

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ComparisonsComparisons

Sometimes I wonder why my world on the island seems so dense with connections. Things I see, hear, taste, touch, or smell remind me of other things, and my life becomes a metaphor. When I was a child, I often kept these comparisons unspoken, afraid others would think me strange. But when I began to study the Bible, I realized Christ routinely used comparisons to help his listeners understand his message. I remember how often He began, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like….” or how often in his parables He used everyday images to convey an abstract doctrine. Perhaps comparisons are a way of looking at the world and perceiving God’s intervention in all things—both physical and abstract. We are his children and need to have explained to us the concepts that structure our faith. Like children, we learn best when ideas are connected to everyday events and behavior. Dear Father, please help me fathom your revelations which daily connect met to you. May I learn to witness your presence in my routine life, and may the lessons I glean from those connections enrich my spirit and yield acts of love.

GratitudeGratitude

We met friends for lunch today at a restaurant whose porch overlooks the bay.  Seabirds called and swooped, the clouds made their spectacular background mullet jumped in wide arcs, and the summer sun warmed our bare arms.  Just enough breeze played over us as we ate our seafood, making the setting comfortable, adding to our mutual enjoyment.  Driving home, I thought of the experience I’d just enjoyed.  How often I take for granted these precious times—a beautiful setting, people I love, good health, ample food, and peace like a sweet taste on my lips.  I often say the words, “Thank you, Lord, for this day,” but I don’t always let myself communicate how precious the day has been, how grateful I am for its goodness, how blessed I am to live in the moment here and now.  How blessed I am to be assured of a place set aside for me in eternity!  So I repeat now, “Thank you, Lord, for this beautiful day.  I give you praise and gratitude for the gifts you so richly shower upon me.” Amen.

 

LitterLitter

  Frequently on my walk I take a plastic bag to collect the refuse left behind on the beach.  Empty beer and soda cans, plastic cartons that once held bait, plastic plates and broken foam coolers, bags with scraps of fast food take-out.  I gather these broken pieces and wonder about those whose carelessness is made so visible.  What they leave behind affects all who follow them, soiling the beach and requiring clean-up efforts of others.  Then I wonder what I leave behind in my carelessness—do I scatter the refuse of broken promises, painful retorts, hurt feelings?  Must others come in my wake and try to heal the scars I’ve caused?  Forgive me, Father, for the detritus in my life, and please help me leave nothing behind that will destroy or litter your world or leave others in pain. Amen.