Today on my beach walk, I came across a feather.  It lay in the sand, perfect in shape, a swift, arching curve.  I picked it up, running my fingers over its simple complexity.  I wonder if the owner knew of the feather’s loss, or if it simply fluttered down as the bird soared overhead in search of food.  Perhaps it was scarcely acknowledged as it went missing.  I turned around to see my footprints in the sand; I wonder now what I leave behind me, what traces do others come across.  Is what I leave behind beautiful or sordid?  I wonder, dear Father, if others can see you in my footprints.  Do I leave behind a message of hope, of encouragement, of love?  What words have my lips last spoken?  Where did my feet last visit?  What message did my hands last shape?  Does my path seem strewn with careless and selfish refuse, with ugly words, with mean spirited thoughtlessness?  O please help me, Heavenly Father, to walk in your path, to leave behind in my wake all that testifies I share my path with you.

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