Shell Chimes

Almost all of the empty shells on the beach reveal a small, round hole.  It is this hole through which they were attacked and killed by a creature that drills into the shell.  A friend on the island collects these shells in varying sizes and fashions them into wind chimes.  Carefully she balances the weight of each shell, combining both thick and thin so there is tone and melody when the wind dances over them.  They are strung together and suspended from her porch ceiling; their sound is music directly from the sea.  Certainly God does that in our lives.  Sin has bored a hole into us, rendering us vulnerable and dead.  But God rescues us, arranges us with others, and from our broken lives he creates beautiful music.  I thank you, Lord, for the song of the seashells and especially I thank you for the song you create from our daily lives with the gift of your Son. Amen.

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Perfect ShapesPerfect Shapes

I watch the small seabirds run in the waves at the water’s edge, stopping to dig their beaks in the sand for small bits of food.  How ideally suited they are for their life style!  The beaks are just the right length to pierce the sand’s surface, sharp enough to retrieve small clams or crabs; their legs are the ideal size for standing against the waves’ impact.  God has outfitted them perfectly for the life they lead.  In a similar fashion, God has outfitted me for the life he wants me to lead.  I have a mouth designed to speak words of praise to God and encouragement to others, hands meant to help when there is a need, feet intended to propel me into service, and ears meant to hear the cries of those in need.  Forgive me, Lord, when I fail to use my gifts as you ordained, and please help me always to see my body as an opportunity to serve you. Amen.

Cloudy WindowsCloudy Windows

  My windows are covered with salt spray, especially those that look on the ocean.  When I peer out, what I see is clouded and spotted, distorted by the deposits made in each tiny drop.  My life is sometimes like that.  I am distracted by tiny ‘things’ that leave their mark on my vision, distorting and marring the view.  Each drop is so minute, and yet the accumulated distortion affects all that I see.  Pettiness and resentment encrust my perspective, making me cross and depressed.  Seeds of selfishness cause small changes in my view until I see only what is blurred and misshapen.  How can I see your world clearly through windows that distort my vision and its clarity? I pray, O God, help me wash my spirit and scour away these distorting deposits.  May I look through eyes that are clear and loving; may I see others as you see them.  Please help me see through eyes washed with your water of love and forgiveness; help me see only as you see.

Wind PatternsWind Patterns

The wind gusted and blew all night, creating designs in the sand. Some were generated by sea oat stems drawing wide circles at their bases as gusts came from different directions. Others were created as ripples of sand, small ridges that cover the dune slope with a corduroy look. The wind molded the outline of the past that marks my beach walk, buried the ghost crab holes, and left yesterday’s footprints mere shallow hints of human passing. The wind and sand form partnership that alters the beach, making subtle changes some days, dramatic and drastic shifts other days. Everything is used as part of the pattern, nothing is left untouched. In my own life too, there are patterns that shift and change. Strong winds blow over my family and me as well; each day produces a slightly different configuration. A doctor’s visit labels a new health crisis, a family member is seriously ill, relationships crumble and collapse, unable to endure gusty assaults. In the midst of these changes, I look to the one who doesn’t change, who controls the wind but isn’t affected by the wind, who rules the storms but is above the storms. Thank you, Lord, for your presence in my life, for your promise of stability in a world blown by designs not of my making. I pray that you keep me aware of both your presence and your authority over all things. Amen.