Prayers from the Island One Drop of Rain

One Drop of Rain

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 It began to sprinkle a bit during my walk this afternoon—just enough to make tiny dents in the dry sand.  Each drop was a crater, sculpting its own descent into the white sand.  This is a phenomenon I rarely see, for when it rains hard, all the sand is wet and the drops cancel out one another.  But today I see the impact of one tiny drip, measurable in the sand, and I wonder about my impact on the world of people and nature.  Sometimes, Lord, I am careless and wasteful with the world you’ve given into my keeping.  I walk with heavy abandon, unthinking of the impact my presence has upon your creation.  Recognizing that  a single raindrop can leave its trace, may I strive to walk softly, to treat this earth more tenderly, and to tend with gentle affection the beautiful world you’ve given us. Amen.

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Fiery SeedsFiery Seeds

During last night’s windstorm, pinecones thudded on our roof, disturbing my sleep and making me worry about roof damage.  This morning I picked up the pinecones from the deck, noticing their complexity and beauty.  How densely and tightly packed each seed is positioned in the cone!  I know that many pines only release their seed when fire temperatures are hot enough to burst them open.  It is only in fire that the pines are able to fulfill their destiny and scatter their seed.  I wonder about my own life, those times when I’ve felt closest to God, those times which have taught me important lessons I needed to learn.  Typically, those were crises in my life, times of ill health or surgery, deaths in my family, marriage or family conflicts.  Even during these times of upheaval, God was working with me, teaching me, helping me deepen my relationship with him.  Help me, Lord, to trust you even during the fiery times.  Please keep reminding me that I am not alone in the blazing furnace, but through these flames I am refined and drawn closer to you. Amen.

Mock Turtle SightingMock Turtle Sighting

A small post juts out of the water near where I begin my beach walk. Visible only at low tide, it has become like an old friend, occasionally spotted in its familiar site. Today as I neared the post, a woman gestured excitedly to me. “Look, look,” she said, “ there’s a sea turtle! See his head?” She pointed to the tip of the post, as two friends joined her, their voices animated and gleeful, calling me to share their discovery. I hesitated before I responded, explaining that it was a post deeply sunk into the sand, a post that appeared when the tide was out, a post I saw on a regular basis. “Oh well,” the woman sighed, “it was fun for a few minutes to think we’d spotted a sea turtle.” I thought about what I did, dashing her hopes of a turtle encounter. Sometimes ignorance is bliss, but more often it’s destructive. If I choose to ignore my behavior, excusing its hurtful intent, creating rationalizations for misdeeds, I may find a few moments’ pleasure, but at the risk of my soul’s good health. God tells me He is the truth; either I turn toward the truth or I live in darkness and deceit. I hope those women find a sea turtle in the surf and enjoy its presence. And I pray, please Lord, help me know your truth and share it with others, not from arrogance but from love. Amen.

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.