Quiet Times

Quiet Times post thumbnail image

   There are days when I walk on the beach and greet everyone I pass with a smile, a nod, and a brief “Hello!”, Other days, like today, I feel cocooned in my own thoughts, almost oblivious of others as they pass me.  Like the sea itself, our energies and thoughts sometimes ebb and flow, focused inward or outward, depending on the day’s needs.  I ask you, dear Father, to make both perspectives profitable.  May I have quiet time when I can turn my thoughts inward to touch your face and feel close to the Christ who lives within me.  But may I never lose balance—may I also remember to turn my energies outward, reaching for the Christ who resides in others.  Help me, like the sea itself, to maintain a measured balance.

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LossLoss

A neighbor stopped by this morning with the sad news that there was a drowning yesterday on the island.  High winds and rip tides made the gulf water dangerous.  Apparently one person was in trouble, and another went out to assist but he was pulled into the waves and vanished.  How terribly sad!  What was obviously intended as a wonderful day of laughter and fun, of a picnic lunch and swimming turned into a day of tragedy and loss.  In the midst of life we are in death—suddenly the hours are robbed of their joy, only grief and sadness left in their wake.  We live in a broken world, a world where our human frailty Is most evident.  I think of this family whose lives will change because of this day; I think too of God who grieves with them, whose love for the lost individual exceeds their own.  My prayer, Lord, is for peace, comfort and strength in the days ahead.  May those who mourn feel your presence; may they, even in the midst of their loss, find reasons to celebrate a life filled with joyful times.  Only you, dear Lord, can bring them your peace and courage for the hours to come. Amen.

 

Yes, It’s RealYes, It’s Real

I saw an oystercatcher today, a large bird that inhabits tidal flats.  A friend bought me a dish in a local gift shop with an oystercatcher painted on it, and insisted that we had to see one for the dish to be ‘authentic’ as a souvenir.  I had to laugh with her; so often I too have my tests for authenticity; I must see before I can believe something is legitimate.  I’m reminded of Doubting Thomas  who couldn’t accept the disciples’ word that Jesus had appeared before them.  Thomas insisted on actually witnessing the risen Lord, touching the wounds and verifying them for himself.  Jesus didn’t even berate Thomas’ doubts; he understood that faith grows by testing and wondering, even by doubting.  I thank you, Lord, for today’s oystercatcher sighting, and for your patient understanding of my own tests of faith.  While I may doubt you, I know your love for me never wavers.  I thank and praise you. Amen.

SharingSharing

A new house is being built on the lot beside me.   The men work and call to one another, play their loud music, and operate their noisy machines.  I miss the peace and quiet I once knew, and feel cranky at the intrusion.  Then I realize I share this world and this island. Perhaps in a similar fashion I sometimes I want you all to myself, so I alone have your attention and favor, so you and I are our own island.  Forgive me.  Help me to know that it is only in sharing you that your will is done.  Help me to welcome others and make me less greedy for what is not mine alone.  You are the God of all.  Forgive me for trying to own you; make me an instrument to bring others to the knowledge of you.  It is only in sharing you that I truly won your love. Amen.