Prayers from the Island Grabbing Hold

Grabbing Hold

Lately I notice that crab claws seem to litter the beach.  The pincers look odd washing up on the shore’s edge, grasping and clinging to nothing at all.  When they were still attached to the crab, they were constantly in motion, holding fast to prey or reaching out and combing the sand for more to eat.  Now they lie inert and useless.  Is this a lesson for me, I wonder?  Do I spend too much of my time trying to ‘get’ things, trying to hold fast to what I have while acquiring still more?  Will my grasping hands be all that people remember, all that remains of my past?  Forgive me when I try to grab at the wrong things, when I’m unwilling to relinquish my hold on unimportant toys.  Help me hold fast to your gifts of grace and eternal life.  May I learn to open my hands and share your bounty with those in need. Amen.

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Surf SoundsSurf Sounds

  Last night I could hear the surf through my open bedroom window.  All night it crashed against the shore, advancing and receding.  The more quietly I lay, the louder it became, until it seemed to fill the room with its thunder.  How lovely to lie in the darkness and hear the ocean’s voice just outside my window!  I was reminded that even in the darkness your voice can be heard when I lie silent.  I thank you, Lord, for all the forms and shapes Your voice takes, for the laughter of gulls, for the harsh croak of a heron, for the soughing branches of pine trees, for the roar of ocean waves.  May I never grow impatient with these voices or dismiss their message; you created this world and still speak to us through it.  I thank you, God, for your voices that reach out to me—even in the darkness. Amen.

PelicansPelicans

I love to watch the pelicans fly; they seem so choreographed in their flight, each dipping a bit, or soaring upward, or flapping wings in precisely the same sequence and flight pattern.  How beautiful they look, working in such harmony and common purpose.  I’m reminded of the ideal church congregation, each member working to make use of the gifts God has given, each member aware of the others, and yet personally responsive to God, each member certain that in unison there is sharing and support.  Lord, I pray that you make me a church member who works well with others, who recognizes the underlying unity of all of us in Christ, and who seeks to serve with love and gratitude. Amen.

Touching HandsTouching Hands

We were invited to neighbors for dinner last evening.  Before we ate, the six of us joined hands in prayer.  It’s interesting that the island, though physically isolated from the mainland, is a place of hugging and hand-holding, as if human contact becomes more important the further one moves from other people.  The contact of another hand in mine deepens the impact of prayer, connecting me with those beside me, reminding me that we are all one body in Christ.  The fewer people I see, the more I value  their touch.  I thank you, Lord, for the strength of human touch.  Your hands healed the sick and ended suffering, reaching out to others.  May my hands, too, reach out and bring loving healing and strength to all whom I touch.  Make my hands your hands, I pray. Amen.