Salt Spray

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   An eastern wind blew against my face as I walked on the beach today.  My glasses quickly covered with salt spray and I couldn’t see the markers that usually determine the length of my walk.  I was cold and huddled inside my jacket, trying to draw breath against the wind.  And all the time I knew when I turned around and retraced my steps, that same wind would propel me home.  What was once an adversary would become my propeller, making the walk easier and swifter.  Thank you, God, for showing me that even in adversity I can take comfort in your presence. On the other side of every painful event there is the joy of your presence.  May the crises of my life give me an opportunity to grown in faith and spirit.  May I pass through hard times and emerge more swift and refreshed in my walk with you. Amen.

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Beach FunBeach Fun

  What a beautiful day!  A cool wind blowing in from the north flattened the waves and made their meeting with the shore a subdued union.  Despite the cool breeze (I in my jacket, naturally), I watched people in shorts and bathing suits enjoying the sun and the sand, throwing Frisbees, jumping in the wet sand, and fishing at the ocean’s edge.  I love to watch families or individuals at play it lets me witness something simultaneously private and public.  Surely our laughter is part of the godliness that resides in us, a gift Adam and Eve took with them even as they left the Garden. I believe we share God’s delight in His world when we laugh with one another over something as wholesome as the water and the shore.  I can’t help but smile just watching His children celebrating.  I think you, Dear Father, for reminding me that sun, wind, sand and ocean are reason enough to laugh, even when small ills trouble me.  Thank you for the wonderful gift of laughter to celebrate!

God’s GraceGod’s Grace

The island is awash in wild flowers now, splashes of color line the road, displaying their palette even in the piney woods on the bay.  No one plants these seeds, no one tends them; they must endure drought and cold, surviving intense heat and salt spray, super-heated summer winds.  They are a gift, these lovely flowers, a gift given freely and generously.  I think of them as a reminder of God’s grace, free for the taking, available to all, a gift that exists under the most severe and extreme conditions, outlasting any other gift possibly conceived.  Thank you, Lord, for these blooms that sweeten my days, and thank you for the gift of your grace that promises me an eternity shared with you. Amen.

Mine!Mine!

I watched a gull with a large fish in his mouth bent over at the edge of the beach.  He seemed worried that I would steal the fish from him, and so tried to pick it up and fly, but the weight made flight almost impossible.  Again and again, the fish fell from his beak, once almost slipping into the ocean and escaping.  I stopped my walk so the bird could eat the fish in peace, but he was convinced I would grab it, still trying to hurry it to safety.  I felt sorry for the gull; I didn’t want his fish and would have avoided him if I could.  Sadly, I am sometimes like that gull, so worried that others will take from me what is “mine”, that I risk losing it in the very act of protecting it!  In church I sing that all I have is a gift from God, and yet in my daily life I label “Mine!” too often, spending my energies, like the gull, protecting what is in no danger of loss and losing what is most valuable.  Forgive me, Lord, when I worry more about what is mine than about what is yours.  Help me share generously as you have so richly shared with me. Amen.