Prayers from the Island Don’t Touch!

Don’t Touch!

Today, early in the morning, I approached an unfamiliar object on the beach, just above the water line. Its label warned that it was dangerous, phosphorous-filled, and should not be touched. The finder was asked to notify the police or military. The discovery saddened me. In the midst of so much serene beauty, under skies still washed with dawning light, I had stumbled upon something that hinted of death and destruction, something unconnected with the morning’s beauty. I remembered the passage from Philippians where we are told to think of what is pure and lovely. I tried to fix my thoughts on the right, the pure, the admirable, the excellent, and the praiseworthy. As I reported the object to the park ranger, my duty was complete. But now I need your help, Lord to find a way to live in this world with its unpleasant realities and still reach for you and your perfection of goodness and beauty. Help me find beauty even in the midst of ugliness. May I put aside this ugly object and try to be an agent of peace and beauty in a troubled, violent world. Amen.

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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.

Sand EverywhereSand Everywhere

Sand!  There is sand everywhere in my house!  When I walk on the beach wearing shoes and socks, the sand finds its way to my bare feet, nestles between my toes, and sticks to my ankles.  If I’m barefooted, I try to wash off the sand before entering the house, but the stairs have their own sandy coating, so I replace one layer of sand with another.   My carpet sometimes looks pale beige, so evenly does a sand layer coat it.  I’m reminded of the Psalmist who found God everywhere he looked—in the deepest chasm or the highest clouds.  I can better appreciate that sense of omnipresence when I think of sand—blowing, filming adhering, and surrounding me–inescapable.  I thank you, Lord for your ability to penetrate my life at every level—wherever I look and touch, you are there. Amen.

 

Beach FunBeach Fun

  What a beautiful day!  A cool wind blowing in from the north flattened the waves and made their meeting with the shore a subdued union.  Despite the cool breeze (I in my jacket, naturally), I watched people in shorts and bathing suits enjoying the sun and the sand, throwing Frisbees, jumping in the wet sand, and fishing at the ocean’s edge.  I love to watch families or individuals at play it lets me witness something simultaneously private and public.  Surely our laughter is part of the godliness that resides in us, a gift Adam and Eve took with them even as they left the Garden. I believe we share God’s delight in His world when we laugh with one another over something as wholesome as the water and the shore.  I can’t help but smile just watching His children celebrating.  I think you, Dear Father, for reminding me that sun, wind, sand and ocean are reason enough to laugh, even when small ills trouble me.  Thank you for the wonderful gift of laughter to celebrate!