Hidden Wings

A dead dolphin washed ashore last week on a section of the beach I rarely walk. This morning I revisited his carcass where only the skeletal form remained. I mourned his passing, but discovered to my surprise that his shoulder bones were perfectly shaped wings, complete with serrated edges that duplicate birds’ wings. No wonder he jumped high into the air, seeking both that world and his own more familiar water-world. No wonder he sought air to breathe, for his skeleton proved the wings that once supported his aquatic form. Perhaps this cheered me because I too feel sometimes strangely out of place, as if I had a home once some where else. Perhaps like that dolphin I too have wings that form my skeletal support, wings that can lift my spirit, wings that can transport me, wings that can help me soar. If I have God within me, then these are His traces, these visible wings that internalize an angel lurking beneath my flesh. Thank you, Lord, for the wings you give me and all living things, the wings you implant when You enter our hearts and minds. May I use these wings to transcend my own earthly limitations and help lift others to knowledge of You. Amen.

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Boat in a Lightning Storm

Rocky BoatRocky Boat

 A strong line of high winds and thunderstorms passed through last night in the deepest hours of darkness when the world seems most vulnerable and a house’s shell most fragile.  I lay awake, watching the flashes of lightning, hearing the thunderclaps, feeling the impact of wind and rain against my windows.  Living in a city provides a sense of protection with houses almost touching and wide paved areas impenetrable to rain.  Here on the island each of us is exposed, open expanses for sheets of water and wind to explore, wide windows and doors for branches to crash, pine cones that strike like missiles.

I can understand how the disciples must have felt in their storm-tossed boat on the sea, so fearful they woke Jesus.  He rose and quieted storm.  Sometimes I feel as if the boat of my life is rocking out of control, and I want to make certain Jesus isn’t sleeping, ignorant of my plight.  Please, Lord, quiet the storms in my life, both those that rage within and without.  Grant me the faith to outwait the storm, faith to know you are not asleep. Amen.

Boat in a Lightning Storm

Something MissingSomething Missing

 I love to carry my camera with me as I walk, taking pictures of things that catch my attention .  I look through the lens and feel the photo will be perfect, capturing the entire range of what lies before me.  A heron strutting for a fisherman’s attention, a gull soaring in blue sky, shadows against the beach crossover–each picture seems capable of full reproduction.  But when I examine the developed pictures, I’m often disappointed.  So much has been lost, so much of what I valued in the scene can’t be captured on film.  I sadly file away the photos, knowing they represent only part of what I felt and saw.  I think of my church experiences.  I have worshiped on my own, without being in the presence of my fellow believers, but the experience is somehow lacking, never providing for me all that being in church gives me.  It’s always less than what I experience.  I thank you, Lord, for the opportunity to worship with other Christians, and for the enrichment their faith brings to my faith. Amen.

Morning GloryMorning Glory

In a dune of pure white sand, a wild morning glory flourishes.  Tightly coiled bud, full blossom and spent flower—it is a perfect picture of life’s stages.  I wonder how it receives nourishment in the sand, or how it can find enough water to sustain life.  And yet it blooms happily, sending roots deep into the sand, finding somewhere within a layer of nutrients, and thriving on the few drops of moisture the morning’s dew produces.  The conditions seem so hostile, and yet the morning glory celebrates life.  What about me?  Do I send roots deep enough, do I collect the dewdrops, do I celebrate life despite the conditions in which I’m placed?  Forgive me, Lord, when I complain and whine.  Help me, like this morning glory, to send deep roots of faith and to be grateful for your gift of life.  Help me bloom with love where you have placed me. Amen.