Last night when the darkness seemed deepest and sleep elusive, I looked out and saw a string of shrimp boats near shore, their lights shining as if there were luminescent beads strung on a necklace.  I thought of their crews, working hard in the dark, dropping and hauling nets, cold, wet and at risk.  They do all of this so that I can enjoy the luxury of a fresh shrimp cocktail or shrimp and pasta for tomorrow’s dinner.  There must have been others watching the ships as well—wives, husbands, partners, each staring into the light, hoping all is well.  Be with them I pray, dear Lord, and be with all who work in the night for my convenience and safety.  Police officers, medical personnel, emergency responders—so many who place themselves in danger in the darkness.  Be with those whom they tend as well.  Grant your safety and healing, your protection and peace, your gift of full nets and productive hauls.  I thank you for their work, and I ask you to remind me in the morning to thank them myself and keep them in my prayers. Amen.

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