This week’s rough wind and waves have torn piles of sea grapes and left them strewn on the shore. I picked my way along their drying heaps thinking of how unattractively they litter the beach. Then I noticed shore birds pecking through the sea grapes, finding bits of food among the tangled leaves and stems. I’m surprised to see so much bounty being discovered, and I’m led to wonder about the litter in my life—what can it be made to yield? Often it has been a crisis that tempered my judgment and brought me closer to God. I spent six months in a body cast, confined to a hospital bed, and learned more from that experience than any university course or self-help book. My father’s early death taught me about faith and forgiveness and the importance of living each moment. Maybe I need to re-examine the detritus of my own life more carefully, identifying the nourishing insights it might produce. Please help me, Father, to see your hand in everything that happens; may I use my life in accordance with your will and in your service. Amen.

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