Kairos-Milwaukie United Church of Christ

iStock 1155450279Every summer since time immemorial the Bodman family has gathered “up to camp” – down east dialect for “at the cabin on the lake.” Every year we swim and fish and paddle in the same magical place. Over the years I’ve paddled my kayak along every inch of the shoreline and poked into every one of its little coves. About ten years ago as we paddled into one of my favorite coves, we startled a moose who had been munching on lily pads at the water’s edge. I was thrilled – my first moose sighting!

Since that day I’ve gone back to that same cove and scanned that same spot in the hope of seeing another moose. I have been so fixed on that idea, that last summer I nearly missed seeing the family of otters that swam within an arm’s reach of my kayak – thank heavens the littlest one had to scramble a bit getting out of the water or I WOULD have missed them.

I wonder what else I missed over these last ten years? I’m sure most of you are much more sensible than I, but I need to be reminded not to be so fixated on the gifts and beauties and strengths of the past that I forget to see what is right in front of me.

Right about now in the course of the world we can be forgiven for looking back with longing – to a time when the country felt more fair; to a time when beloved ones now gone were still with us; to a time when the climate crisis did not feel so imminent. To a time when…

With so much to challenge, grieve, frighten and anger us, both personally and collectively, I hope this summer you will take some sabbath time for deep rest. Time to see what new beauty, strength and grace might be available now.

God of Sabbath, Master of infinite playfulness, bless those who are on vacation. Protect them from the worries of home. Guide them, that they may become lost in a new place, with no way but to wander. Shepherd them to still places. Watch over them, that they may not stumble into work or obligation. Grant them wonder, delight, renewal, and release. Run the world without them. May their fireworks be grand, their campfires lovely, their beaches uncrowded, their traffic at peace. When they are renewed, bring them home safe, whole, and changed. And may the savoring pace of their absence stay with them, by your grace. Amen.

(Steven Garnaas-Holmes, https://unfoldinglight.net/).

There is light around us, light within us
and light ahead.