Prayers from the Island We Take Them With Us

We Take Them With Us

We Take Them With Us post thumbnail image

 My father never lived to see the ocean.  He died of cancer when he was 52, his long-postponed travel plans left undone.  Sometimes when I walk on the beach, I try to see the island from his eyes, as if I were showing it to him for the first time.  These beautiful shells, this view from the boardwalk, the dolphins at play, the pelican’s dive, the sand’s brilliance;  I name these things to myself and to him, as if he accompanied me. Surely we are the sum total of all who have loved us, and we take them with us through our subsequent life-walks.  I pray, Lord, that my father knows of my thoughts, that he enjoys our shared walks, and that the world he inhabits is a world of even greater beauty and perfection. I thank you, God, for giving me a loving father; I think you, Lord, for being a loving father. Amen.

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Ocean LightOcean Light

Several years ago I spent two weeks in Paris, visiting many of the museums.  The seascapes captured my attention, as various artists attempted to depict the movement of the ocean, recording on the canvas its multiple moods.  They tried, using various techniques, to duplicate the light falling on waves, the path the sun lays upon the water when it breaks through clouds, the way foam allows light to penetrate and focus beyond.  The sea in storms, in placid waves, the sea in all of its moods and shades. When I return to the island, I stand quietly on the beach and watch the ocean, recognizing that the best of artists can only approximate what God does repeatedly each day, around the world, without our acknowledgment.  Light falls upon us like a gift, illuminating the world, but also highlighting the elements that surround us, allowing us to revel in their beauty.  Dear Lord, I take so many of your gifts for granted; forgive me for failing to thank you for the gift of light that reveals your world in an ever-changing panorama of beauty. Amen.

Image Credit: Ivan Aivazovsky’s “MOONLIT NIGHT”

God is WaitingGod is Waiting

When my husband and I moved to this island, more than 1000 miles from what had been home, we knew no one except for the real estate agent who sold us the lot. Finalizing the sale, he invited us to attend his church when we came here to live. Years later, after our house was built and we had moved in, we walked into that church and began worship. How wonderful it was to say in unison the words, “Our Father who art in Heaven…,” words that placed us in a family with a shared father, words that assured us of brothers and sisters in faith. No matter how distant from what was once home, God was there, waiting for us wherever we went. Though far from blood relatives, suddenly we were in the midst of spirit relatives, Christ’s family forming one body, welcoming us and making us part of His whole. He waiting for us here on the island! Dear Father, please let me never forget that you are not only my father, but Father to all. May I learn to share you with love and enthusiasm, adding new brothers and sisters to my family. Amen.

Disappearing FoamDisappearing Foam

Sea foam washed over my feet as I waded at the dividing line between shore and surf.  Like white soapsuds, the foam floated at the water’s edge, piled up in puffs on the beach, and scudded across the sand with each gust of wind.  Caused by the agitation of the waves, the foam billows up quickly and seems to cover everything, but then disappears almost as quickly as it appeared.  When the sun beats down and the wind abates, the foam vanishes, leaving no trace but a sticky scum.  Sometimes situations in my own life create a kind of foam; I become upset and angry, fussing over details, annoyed by trifles, hurt over unintentional remarks.  Help me, Lord, to ignore the foam that life generates, so I can continue to use my energy in your service.  Give me the faith and patience to remain calm until the foam has subsided and the agitation vanishes. Amen.