Night Comes

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  At this time of year, night seems to descend on the island differently than elsewhere.  Like a worn quilt, the sky first has only thin places, worn spots that appear to have been rubbed against by giant ankles or elbows, places where the sun shines—barely.  As if suspended, the quilt hangs heavier and heavier, weighted by the stars that begin to pull id down, down, slowly until there is more darkness than light.  Sometimes, dear Lord, I reach for you and find a hole where the fingers of faith quickly connect.  At other times, I reach into something thick and furry, unable to find you, to touch you.  When that happens, I depend upon others to connect me, others to raise my name in prayer, others who lift me and my situation.  Perhaps I break through to you because of old, memorized bible verses or hymns that appear in my mind, illuminating the darkness.  Thank you, Heavenly Father, for the beauty of night but more importantly, thank you for the beauty of your light-filled presence no matter how deep the dark. Amen.

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Common BondsCommon Bonds

I pile perfect shells on the front deck against a planter.  I like their look, bleached white by the sun, turning powdery, symbols of the ocean from which they come.  Shells have a delicacy and beauty that sets off the cacti blooming in the terra cotta strawberry pot.  Each shell is different when I find them—size, polish, color and shape—even texture.  But soon the sun whitens them all, and they become almost identical.  I find comfort in their sameness—in a world in which individuality is so highly prized, it’s refreshing to see common bonds revealed.  I think of my church friends, so different in multiple ways.  And yet, when we come to the Sacrament, we are all alike, seeking forgiveness and receiving grace.  Like those bleached shells, the common bond of forgiveness unites us.  Thank you, Lord, for the gift of uniting and bonding us into one family—your family.

 

Where Beauty LiesWhere Beauty Lies

Our friends left today after their week’s visit with us.  Together we saw so many things—pelicans, egrets, herons, dolphins, alligators, hundreds of different shells, and crabs galore—just some of the life we witnessed.  I thought of all we witnessed and wondered if my friends’ love for the ocean was reflected in the ocean’s display on their behalf. Do those who walk in the world with love see a world made more loving because of their love reflected back to them?  Do I, as a Christian, move through  the day radiating God’s love and forgiveness in my own spirit of love and forgiveness?   Do I see more good in the world, just as my friends saw more on the island in a short time than I’d noticed before, because of their own love and respect for nature and God?  I wonder.  Please help me, Lord, to see the beauties you share with me, help me extend my knowledge of your world to others, and please forgive me when I choose to be blind to your love—a love reflected not only in your son Jesus, but also in the world you’ve given us. Amen.

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.