Prayers from the Island Whip-poor-will’s Song

Whip-poor-will’s Song

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Last night I listened to the whip-poor-wills outside my open window.  One was in a tall pine near the house, and the other was some distance away, in a swampy area on the bay.  All night long they called to one another, their song repeated endlessly against the darkness.  Perhaps each wanted the other to join it, or perhaps each simply wanted to inform the other of its continued presence and safety.  I thought of how God calls me, continually, even in the deep nights of my soul.  When I am still, I can hear his voice reaching out to me, reminding me that I am not alone, that he is there with me and I am safe no matter what the circumstances of my life.  Thank  you, Dear God, for your voice that reaches out to me in night’s blackness, reassuring and calming me.  Thank you too for the whip-poor-wills’ song that reminds me of your continued presence. Amen.

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FarewellFarewell

Today I attended a lunch in honor of a friend who is leaving the island, moving closer to her children.  The loss is a sad one, though I’m convinced she’ll be happier in a new setting.  As I age and watch friends leave, there is a painful sense of loss, the depletion that comes with losing those who have shared hours, experiences, and worship.  I take comfort in the assurance that in Christ we are all one flesh, joined in a spiritual union that is as real and enduring as physical proximity.  Prayer requires no bodily presence; it requires only the approach to God and the willingness to open our hearts and minds to Him.  I don’t know when I’ll see this friend again, but she will remain in my prayers as I will in hers.  That union of spirits joined in Christ is often stronger than bodies that meet.  I thank you, Lord, for the opportunity to pray for friends.  May my prayers on their behalf help us be joined in heart. Amen.

Surf SoundsSurf Sounds

  Last night I could hear the surf through my open bedroom window.  All night it crashed against the shore, advancing and receding.  The more quietly I lay, the louder it became, until it seemed to fill the room with its thunder.  How lovely to lie in the darkness and hear the ocean’s voice just outside my window!  I was reminded that even in the darkness your voice can be heard when I lie silent.  I thank you, Lord, for all the forms and shapes Your voice takes, for the laughter of gulls, for the harsh croak of a heron, for the soughing branches of pine trees, for the roar of ocean waves.  May I never grow impatient with these voices or dismiss their message; you created this world and still speak to us through it.  I thank you, God, for your voices that reach out to me—even in the darkness. Amen.

Beware of Splinters!Beware of Splinters!

The sign posted near the boardwalk warns that there is construction going on; “Beware of Splinters” it proclaims.  I lift my feet as I walk, careful not to slide them along in a slouchy gait that has become habitual.  Why, I wonder, do I too often drag my feet along, as if they’re heavy to raise?  Am I like that in my daily religious walk as well, sliding along, picking up splinters and then wondering why my feet are sore?  Perhaps I am, moving heavily through my days, finding petty matters to complain about, and whining when everything isn’t as I might like.  Forgive me, Lord, for picking up splinters instead of moving through the day and the gifts you’ve given me with joy and wonder.  Help me raise my feet and my spirits in response to your unending goodness. Amen.