A Prayer at the Feet of Jesus

In the desert,
on the foundation of Jesus,
bowed before his feet.

His feet in front of me,
my hands on Jesus’ feet.

Jesus, help me to be your feet.
Jesus, help me to go, as your feet go.
Jesus, help me to be humble,
so that I may be a servant of you.

Jesus, help me to trust that as I go,
you will be with me.
Help me to trust that as I go,
you will prepare the way.

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Psalm 93 Reflection

“The Lord is king, he is robed in majesty; the Lord is robed, he is girded with strength.  He has established the world; it shall never be moved; your throne is established from of old; you are from everlasting.  The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their roaring.  More majestic than the thunders of mighty waters, more majestic than the waves of the sea, majestic on high is the Lord!  Your decrees are very sure; holiness befits your house, O Lord, forevermore.” – Psalm 93

A rock in God’s ocean,
a rock shaped, formed, and eroded in God’s power and patience.
A pillar, sculpted by the wind and water of his Spirit.
A pillar, an example pointing to God.

Sitting on Christ’s stone foundation,
a foundation shaped and flattened against the desert sands,
a refuge in the apparent wild.

Will you seek him?
Will you ask to enter into his presence?
Will you be present to meet him?
Will you be humble before him?

Sitting on Christ’s foundation,
silent in solitude with Jesus,
meditating, praying, enjoying the company of Christ.

Yet your arms become heavy,
your legs encased in stone,
your body unable to move,
formed as a statue in the wilderness,
a rock for all eternity to see.
A pillar meditating on Jesus Christ.

Unable to move without Christ’s release,
only able to deeply breathe the peace of Christ’s Spirit,
your muscles are encased in the statue’s stone.
Your heart beats.
Your blood flows.
A subtle anxiety courses in your heart.
A nervousness beats in your body,
trapped by the stone Christ has encased you in.

“What is the meaning of this?”
You ask Jesus.
“If there is a lesson in this, please let me know.”
You say to Jesus.

Jesus smiles.
The Spirit’s presence glows bright.
A moment passes in the desert sand’s silence.
Your anxious heart beats faster.

“All you must do is rest in my presence,
and I will take care of you.”

“Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”

A test of faith.
A lesson in patience.
An exercise in giving up control.

The future uncertain,
but trusting God with everything that will come.

“Help me have faith.”
You say to Jesus.
“Help me learn to wholly rest in you.”
You ask Jesus.
“Help me trust in your sovereignty and love.”
You pray to Jesus.

Slowly, you are released.
Patiently, your cocoon disappears.
Yet with the challenge given to your heart, mind, and soul.
The challenge to rest given to you.

The power of God – his authority and sovereignty greater than the oceans that shape the earth.
The waters that build, erode, destroy, create, and give life.
He is even greater.

You are a rock, shaped by his oceans, eroded by his waves.
The strength of the stone built up,
the weakness sheared off,
weathered away by time spent in his presence,
in the power of his waters.
His ocean is shaping you into the pillar he needs you to be.
Resting in him forms you into the pillar you are to become.
He is the ocean.
You are the rock at his edge,
shaped so that others will see his work.

Others come, seeking God’s ocean,
seeing the meditating, praying individual at the sea’s edge,
powerfully pointing to his work.
Solitary, silent, humble before God.
A servant, yet a marker for who he is.
Unwavering, shaped and moved only by the power of God’s waters.

To be a pillar of God, a rock shaped and weathered by him alone, one who towers, demonstrates, and points to God as one of his saints, one must first learn to rest in silence and stillness before his power and truth, before the raw force of an ocean crashing against the rough and rocky crags, sharpened cliffs, and heavy boulders of the stone formations at the edge his shore.

100 miles for Safe Harbor

Tonight I embark on a 100 mile journey on my Epic V8 surf-ski.   By 7 p.m. tomorrow evening, I hope to have completed at least that distance.

If you’d like to join,
it’d be a great time to view
the weekend’s super-moon.

However, to tell the truth, and in the world of ultra-marathon distance canoeing and kayaking, it is by no means impressive. The Guinness world record for a 24 hour paddle is 279 miles on a river and 150 miles on flatwater. And just last year, West Hansen and his crew paddled 4,225 miles down the Amazon river in only 114 days!

Nonetheless, what is more impressive is the work of Safe Harbor of Chester County.   For over 20 years, they have provided services to people in need in my local area, such as food, overnight shelter to 40 people, friendship, and counseling and recovery opportunities. Their goal is to “help rebuild lives and life skills, reestablish self-esteem, and help people overcome the issues that prevent them from leading independent, productive lives.”

Glenn, Gina, Kim, Alicia, and the rest of the awesome staff are doing excellent and much needed work to help the West Chester community!

Tonight and tomorrow I will be doing what I enjoy – kayaking. Yes, I enjoy even trying to kayak ridiculously long distances. It’s okay – I’ve been called crazy before.

But ultimately this is not for me. As a Christian, I must do my best to follow Christ’s great commandment found in the gospels – love God and love your neighbor. And in Colossians, Paul implores, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

What I am doing is only a one day event designed to point the community to our neighbors at Safe Harbor. It is so that the staff of Safe Harbor can greater love anyone who stops by, at any time, who says they are in need.

It is so that we can love our neighbors.

So today I ask you to join me in helping Safe Harbor by sponsoring me with a donation to this great organization.

Thank you for your support! And in advance, thank you for your prayers as I paddle tonight and all day tomorrow.

The Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi

The prayer commonly attributed to the great 13th century Christian Saint of the catholic Church:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon:
where there is doubt, faith:
where there is despair, hope:
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not
so much seek to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Perhaps in praying and living these words in unity with the rest of the catholic Church, we may be a humble representative of God’s holy kingdom, empowered by the Spirit, with Christ as our leader, to a fallen world seeking the hope and healing that only the Father, the Son, and the Spirit can bring.

Amen.