Half-Light

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Last night I stood on the porch and saw the trees silhouetted by the falling sun.  The scene was robbed of color, only the back and white of approaching night.  Set against the sun, the trees stood as shapes, each pine needle almost a distinct entity.  In one sense, I could distinguish the trees more clearly now, in this half-light, than when they were resplendent in their shades of green.  Perhaps in my own life too it is in those times when there seems to be no color and no joy that Christ most stands out, clear and distinct.  In happy times, I am sometimes diverted by the pleasures around me, but in the black-white hours of my life, I see Christ more fully revealed, a receiving figure on the horizon reaching out to me.  Dear Lord, thank you for being a presence when my soul feels colorless, for towering before me and welcoming me into your embrace. Amen.

 

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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.

God is Everywhere!God is Everywhere!

Chicory or cornflower is blooming on the island, lining the road near the park.  Whenever I see the sky-blue blossoms, I am suddenly swept back into my childhood.  One summer I had to cross a busy street to reach vacation Bible school.  As a group of us waited for traffic to clear, I stared at the chicory awash with color in a nearby vacant lot, mirroring the blue of the sky.  Each morning in school we sang, “God is in the flowers and the birds that sing—God is everywhere!” My attention was captured by God’s presence in the chicory, as if I could watch him at work in the flower.  Perhaps then I could see him at work in my childhood innocence; perhaps I still can.  I pray, God, you will give us both a world that is beautiful and eyes to appreciate that beauty.  I thank you, Lord, for being in those chicory blossoms and for welcoming me into your world here on earth and your world above in Heaven. Amen.

A Beach ReadA Beach Read

I passed a woman dozing on a lounge chair just at the water’s edge.  A paperback book was in the sand beside her, barely out of reach of the incoming tide.  I moved the book higher just as she opened her eyes.  “Oh, don’t bother,” she said, “I’m not really paying that much attention to the book anyway.  Let it float away.”  Her eyes closed again.  I am an avid respecter and defender of books, but her remark interested me.  How do I react to God’s book?  I read the Bible daily and have taken various study courses on its content, but do I really pay attention to what it says?  Is my life different because of its message or do I, like the woman, lie back, letting God’s book float way because the message might cause me pain or make me reorder my life?  Do I seriously consider the implications and demands God makes in His book?  Forgive me, Lord, when I treat the Bible as light reading; help me to apply its directives to my life.  Forgive my lazy disregard. Amen.