Prayers from the Island Where Beauty Lies

Where Beauty Lies

Our friends left today after their week’s visit with us.  Together we saw so many things—pelicans, egrets, herons, dolphins, alligators, hundreds of different shells, and crabs galore—just some of the life we witnessed.  I thought of all we witnessed and wondered if my friends’ love for the ocean was reflected in the ocean’s display on their behalf. Do those who walk in the world with love see a world made more loving because of their love reflected back to them?  Do I, as a Christian, move through  the day radiating God’s love and forgiveness in my own spirit of love and forgiveness?   Do I see more good in the world, just as my friends saw more on the island in a short time than I’d noticed before, because of their own love and respect for nature and God?  I wonder.  Please help me, Lord, to see the beauties you share with me, help me extend my knowledge of your world to others, and please forgive me when I choose to be blind to your love—a love reflected not only in your son Jesus, but also in the world you’ve given us. Amen.

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A Gift in the SeaweedA Gift in the Seaweed

As we walked on the beach this morning, my husband spotted a lure caught in seaweed. He picked it up, carefully removed the debris from the multiple hooks, and decided it was worth keeping. What a treasure—to find something on the beach that would have cost money to purchase—to find it there free for the taking! We both grinned with delight at our discovery, proud to be taking home a small gift from the sea. It is exciting to stumble across a bit of treasure—a coin, float, child’s abandoned toy, or a useable bobber. The idea of “something for nothing” is difficult to accept, especially in a culture where “you get what you pay for”. Thank God I don’t “get what I pay for”. All the money in the world could not pay the ransom of my soul, but God has placed this gift before me in the person of His own son, who died for my sins. I need do nothing more than take advantage of this gift, like picking up the lure on the beach today, and make it my own. Dear Heavenly Father, how grateful I am for the gift you set before me. Help me live my life with appreciation and thanks, directing others to their free gift as well. Amen.

Oops!Oops!

I had to laugh this morning. A sand cliff had built up along the water’s edge, and a bird tried to hop to its crest. He was almost at the top when the sand crumbled and he tripped. He turned his head to glance over his shoulder, apparently wondering if I’d seen his clumsiness. How human he looked, hoping no one had noticed! I smiled because the bird was so like me, worried about looking foolish, hoping not to make mistakes, not wanting to appear clumsy or oafish. Sometimes I don’t speak out when I should for fear of looking foolish, sometimes I don’t react as quickly as I ought in a crisis for fear someone will misunderstand, and sometimes I am not honest in what I say for fear of looking ignorant. Forgive me, Father, when I worry more about how I look than about how I act. Help me remember that in you there is no foolishness, only wisdom. Amen.

AgingAging

As I grow older, I find my body and I are too often in conflict.  I want it to do those things I once took for granted; my body rebels, telling me it can no longer perform those tasks, carry out those demands as it did in the past.  I grow angry at its failure, telling myself that I’m weak now and ineffectual.  I’m reminded that of all the human ills Jesus suffered, never did he experience growing old.  Crucified at 33, Jesus didn’t see his body slowly change, weaken, and grow weary with age.  I want so much to make peace with my body, to find a happy medium where we are comfortable with one another again, a state of being where I can continue to perform valuable work, but where I can understand patiently my new limitations.  I ask for help, dear Lord, in giving me insight into the reality of my own body so that together we can do your work in the world in a positive, productive manner without anger or disappointment. Amen.