Prayers from the Island New Life From Old

New Life From Old

This morning the high waves swirled seaweed around my feet, leaving small stands on my feet and legs.  It washes up on shore in piles that resemble cut grass, capturing small shells and bits of sea life in its tangles.  When it dries, the sea grass is covered by sand or blown against the dunes and dune fences.  It becomes part of the shore vegetation, capturing the sand and helping to stabilize the beach.  I think of the tumult that ripped the weed from the ocean bottom and the final use to which it’s put.  I’m reminded of my grandmother whose faith was often tested, but who held fast even when torn from her native land and deposited abroad.  Her faith and example were a foundation for my own faith.  I watched and learned from her love, compassion, and absolute conviction in the goodness of God and the resurrection of Jesus.  Like the sea grass that now provides for new growth and life, she gave me a trust that I wanted to copy.  I thank you, Lord, for the faith of those saints who precede us, on whose convictions we help build our own faith. Amen.

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The Gift of ColorThe Gift of Color

 The redbud trees are in bloom on the mainland!  I tell myself I can see them across the bay, though I know that’s not really possible.  I want to see them, and so I imagine I can.  They provide a splash of spring color that my eyes soak up, as if they were pink lemonade foam.  I think, as I look at the sky, the ocean, and the sand, of the gift of colors.  Perhaps those who minister in the church often wear black with touches of white because it’s thought bright colors interfere with our ability to focus; they distract us with their splashes of frivolous color.  But for me, the gift of colors is crucial. Colors remind me that our God is a God of beauty who wants us to see and appreciate the world He’s given us.  Colors are a remnant of Eden, a world made perfect and wholly good.  I thank you, God, for colors and for the delight they bring into our everyday lives. Amen.





I had to laugh this morning. A sand cliff had built up along the water’s edge, and a bird tried to hop to its crest. He was almost at the top when the sand crumbled and he tripped. He turned his head to glance over his shoulder, apparently wondering if I’d seen his clumsiness. How human he looked, hoping no one had noticed! I smiled because the bird was so like me, worried about looking foolish, hoping not to make mistakes, not wanting to appear clumsy or oafish. Sometimes I don’t speak out when I should for fear of looking foolish, sometimes I don’t react as quickly as I ought in a crisis for fear someone will misunderstand, and sometimes I am not honest in what I say for fear of looking ignorant. Forgive me, Father, when I worry more about how I look than about how I act. Help me remember that in you there is no foolishness, only wisdom. Amen.

Finding a FeatherFinding a Feather

  Today on my beach walk, I came across a feather.  It lay in the sand, perfect in shape, a swift, arching curve.  I picked it up, running my fingers over its simple complexity.  I wonder if the owner knew of the feather’s loss, or if it simply fluttered down as the bird soared overhead in search of food.  Perhaps it was scarcely acknowledged as it went missing.  I turned around to see my footprints in the sand; I wonder now what I leave behind me, what traces do others come across.  Is what I leave behind beautiful or sordid?  I wonder, dear Father, if others can see you in my footprints.  Do I leave behind a message of hope, of encouragement, of love?  What words have my lips last spoken?  Where did my feet last visit?  What message did my hands last shape?  Does my path seem strewn with careless and selfish refuse, with ugly words, with mean spirited thoughtlessness?  O please help me, Heavenly Father, to walk in your path, to leave behind in my wake all that testifies I share my path with you.