Prayers from the Island Patiently Waiting

Patiently Waiting

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  I watched a sandpiper this morning as he raced a ghost crab to its hole.  Patiently, patiently, he stood beside the hole long after the crab disappeared, not moving his body, absolutely still.  He waited for a long time, staring quietly at the vacant hole.  I stood and watched, awed by the sandpiper’s suspension of movement.  When the crab suddenly reappeared, certain the bird had vanished, he was quickly gobbled up.  I think of my own impatience, how often I give God my timetables, my schedules, my deadlines and ask Him to move on my terms.  I need, like that sandpiper, to learn patience.  Please, God, may I wait at your side, knowing that your timetable is better than mine.  Please teach me to be patient; forgive me my foolish demands. Let me be still and know that you are God. Amen.

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Oysters TogetherOysters Together

When the tide is in, a walk on the bay can be difficult in places. Oyster shells unite and form aggregates—large collections of various sized shells cemented together. Where one shell might fall prey to a gull or another predator, these oyster sets are often so large they would be difficult to attack. Their heaped up presence at the edge of the bay water makes walking troublesome because they are so difficult to separate. Certainly the aggregate offers unique protection, incorporating even small oysters into a cemented family. I’m reminded of church families, how they also offer protection, encouragement, and guidance. When we are accepted into God’s family, we are as strong as the strongest link—God—and able to give additional strength to all weaker links. The lesson of the joined oysters is a valuable one for every congregation. Dear Lord, help me to unite others; may I bring peace, encouragement, guidance and prayer into the lives I touch. Amen.

Beautiful Music from Broken ShellsBeautiful Music from Broken Shells

The waves were very high today, causing the seashells just off the shore to rub and jostle one another.  They make a pleasant sound, almost musical as they bump and mingle, tumbling together.  Most are broken fragments, but that only adds to their song; in fact, those shells that are perfect and whole seem to produce less melody.  I think of God’s church, broken people coming together, letting God’s power wash over them, creating beautiful music in the process.  We touch one another with hugs or handshakes; we support one another with gifts of cooked meals, notes, emails, and phone calls.  We pray for one another and celebrate successes.  I thank you, Lord, that you have given us a church where the broken in spirit can join to create your beautiful music and harmony. Amen.

 

Broken BeautyBroken Beauty

Friends came for dinner last night and bought me a piece of handmade jewelry. The pin is formed of overlapping pieces of shell glued to create a design as rhythmical as the surf, as revealing as the sand shore. Different shells capture the light in varying ways, catching and holding, reflecting, or framing a small pearl set in a tiny shell at the pin’s center. Even holes drilled by predators become part of the design. If I had seen these broken pieces of shell on the shore, I would have been blind to their beauty, but in the hands of my talented friend, their loveliness is revealed. Perhaps God’s church is like this pin, broken pieces of shell gathered and amalgamated to form a beautiful whole Each piece, with it own separate gifts combines to form a unified whole, reinforcing where there is weakness, strengthening where there is need, celebrating when there is victory. Even holes, pierced by the pain of living, become part of the design, allowing pieces to come together. Thank you, Lord, for this reminder that our brokenness is perfected in your presence, made beautiful though your touch. Amen.