Prayers from the Island Into the Waves

Into the Waves

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I watched some toddlers on the beach this morning.  They wanted to jump into the water, but were a bit frightened by the size of the waves.  Each time they advanced, a wave would push them back to the beach.  Finally their mother took each by the hand and walked into the water with them, holding tightly.  Together they were able to repel the waves, and shouts of joy signaled their fun.  Like those toddlers, I’m often afraid to move forward, feeling the waves push me back.  I cower on the shore until I turn and see I’m not alone, I reach out for your hand, Lord, and accept your presence and guidance.  Together we advance in the direction you would have me go.  Thank you for being there to help me when I try to move forward, giving me your strength, your courage, and your love. Amen.

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Sonic BoomsSonic Booms

Sometimes the island is part of the training route for jets from an airbase about 80 miles away.  Although pilots have been instructed not to generate sonic booms as they fly over us, they occasionally misjudge and break the sound barrier.  Shock waves shake our stilt-perched house, jarring pictures on the walls, waking my sleeping cats.  I feel vulnerable to these loud sound explosions because of the distance from the ground; my whole house rocks and shakes.  I can’t help but think of the other ‘sonic booms’  that can jar us so suddenly, under blue and cloud-free skies.  A routine examination at the doctor’s office that uncovers a serious condition, an accident that shatters a family’s stability, a job loss, a phone that rings in the darkness of night—each of these, like sonic booms, suddenly rock our worlds and leave us unsettled.  I trust the builder of our house did his work well, that he set our concrete beams deeply enough into the ground so we can weather the impact.  Similarly, I ask you, Heavenly Father, that you would help increase my faith, establish it deeper in your word and your love so I can withstand all the sonic booms that life brings. Amen.

 

Shell ChimesShell Chimes

Almost all of the empty shells on the beach reveal a small, round hole.  It is this hole through which they were attacked and killed by a creature that drills into the shell.  A friend on the island collects these shells in varying sizes and fashions them into wind chimes.  Carefully she balances the weight of each shell, combining both thick and thin so there is tone and melody when the wind dances over them.  They are strung together and suspended from her porch ceiling; their sound is music directly from the sea.  Certainly God does that in our lives.  Sin has bored a hole into us, rendering us vulnerable and dead.  But God rescues us, arranges us with others, and from our broken lives he creates beautiful music.  I thank you, Lord, for the song of the seashells and especially I thank you for the song you create from our daily lives with the gift of your Son. Amen.

Scattered PearlsScattered Pearls

This morning’s beach walk revealed a surprise; the water’s rim was scattered with pearls!  They came in various sizes from tiny seed pearls to larger beads, each perfectly shaped and opalescent in the morning light.  Perhaps they were eggs from some sea creature, or perhaps they were seedpods; no one at the ranger station could identify them. I could, I suppose research and understand their origin, but I prefer to think of them as pearls.  A gift of pearls, entirely unexpected.  They remind me of Jesus’ comparison of the Kingdom of Heaven as a valuable pearl.  When I see these “pearls” spread so freely in the sand, I am reminded that the Kingdom of Heaven is all around me, here and now.  It is not only in the future, but also here, this moment in the present.  I thank you, Dear Lord for these pearls that festoon the beach, pearls whose biologic origin I can’t explain, but pearls that symbolize the Heaven you’ve prepared for me. Amen.