A dog began digging wildly, under a rock in the sand. A man and a woman walked slowly up behind him laughing, because the waves buried their dog’s hole as fast as he could dig. The rock, sand and waves worked harmoniously protecting the creatures that lay hidden beneath the rock. The dog began barking and the man picked up a stick and threw it down the beach, for the dog to bring back. The woman picked up a smaller rock covered with barnacles and looked at it intently. The man said, “Hmm, it’s just a rock. I though you found a shell or something.” then he continued to throw the stick for their dog. The woman sat down on the warm sand, while holding on to the rock. The waves came close enough just to tease her feet. She looked across the ocean to see the beautiful colors the sun began to paint and thought about the rock. Her mind drifted as the shores retreated and returned. She found the warm sand, holding the rock and watching and listening to the sound of the waves rejuvenated her soul.
The tide was slowly coming in, the clouds were gathering as the warm summer sun put on a spectacular show, as the sun began to set. The wet rock reflected the colors of light as the creatures beneath him began to stir. The kelp around his base dance, with great anticipation of the tide’s return. It was a celebration of the coming transformation, of life as they knew it! They were all going to be changed, because of the incoming tide. Each crash of the waves against the rock reminded him of his resilience and honor. He was God’s mighty protector of the lifeforms in his stead. It was now time for the changing of the guards. The God’s tide was now the shore’s mighty protector, as the rock became submerged deeper and deeper, under the water. The rock gently moved as the tide rolled over his head. More life began to surround him; beside, above and below, celebrating God’s beauty through colors, shape and sizes. They came search the rock’s new bounty, as it guarded the shores during the day. New rocks of all sizes rolled in closer to him, while the smaller rocks nestled under him creating awesome places for wildlife to play and hide. It was beautiful and peaceful, as the waves continued to roll by. It was the rock’s time to rest, as God’s special gift to the rock!
Soon the light began returning. The rock knew it was time, for the tide to withdraw from the shores. He knew he was going to be changed again, but he was ready and so were God’s creations. He knew God had a plan and needed him, to be strong and embrace the change, because God depended on this rock, the rock He himself created to protect His delicate creatures, until the tide returned again. He was proud, humbled and honored to be called by God, to be their protector and refuge during the changing of the tides. He endured violent wave crashes as the tide retreated to find rest and eventually returning to protect the shores. It was now God’s rocks turn to be the guardians, to protect God’s creatures from predators coming from the sky, the land and the pristine beautiful shores, where the ocean meets the sand, the home of all of God’s creatures above, beside and below.
A wave came in gently caressing the woman’s feet stirring her from her meditation, of the object in her hand. Her husband and their dog returned and he extended his hand, to help her up from the sand. They stood a moment together hand in hand admiring God’ beauty as the sun continued to set. Then he notice she was still holding on to the rock she found earlier and asked her why she still had it and if she planned on taking it home. She looked him in the eyes and said no she couldn’t. You see, the rock was created by the hand of God and placed here on purpose, to be His guardian. God’s guardian in the sand and I am called to be a guardian of the waves and this special rock! She walked over to the edge of the waves and gently laid down the rock. As she stood up she thanked God for His magnificent creations both large and very small and thanked HIm for the many blessings He has given her down to its seemingly simplistic form, a small rock covered in barnacles, one of His many guardians of His beautiful shores.
A mother tried for the third time, to call her daughter and sent numerous texts. She hadn’t heard from her in days. She watched Facebook and Twitter for any new post. Now she had no choice, but to go over there. When she arrived at her daughter’s house, the yard was unkept. She had to move a tricycle from the front door before she could knock. No one answered! She immediately tried to call her daughter one more time. Again there was no answer! This time she knocked with more force and just as she was about to walk away, her small grand-daughter opened the door and ran to the safety of her grandma’s arms. The little girl was dirty and hungry, but was very glad to see her grandma. Her grandma asked her where her mother was and the little girl led her, through the clutter and filth, to their closed bathroom door. She knocked, but there was no answer, so she asked her grand-daughter if she was sure this is where her mother was. The little girls replied yes and showed her grandma, where she sat so she could look under the door, to see her mommy’s feet. Like the child she knelt and peered under the door and sure enough, there were her daughter’s feet. Panic took over every core of her being! She calmed herself down enough to call her sister to come take care of her grand-daughter and called 911!
As the ambulance door closed, every emotion she ever felt came crashing in. She had a hard time breathing, because she blamed herself, for not interfering sooner in her daughter’s life. Her and her daughter have been estranged, ever since her daughter’s divorce. Later on that afternoon, a police officer walked towards her from the other end of a long hallway. He stopped midway to talk to her daughter’s doctor and then the doctor scrambled into action. Her heart began beating wildly in her chest, as the officer came closer. He told her that, through their investigation they found her cell phone and after searching her files discovered what she had taken. Now that the doctors know what she had ingested they could treat her, but it was going to be a long road to walk towards recovery. The officer said that he would keep in contact with her and did something extraordinary. He hugged her and said his family was praying for her and her family. This brief moment opened her heart! She cried from her soul. She thanked the officer and said she would pray for his family too, because our world needed more people like him.
Her daughter was sleeping with a security guard by her door. The doctor placed her on suicide watch. She made her way down to the chapel, to sit and pray. She was the only person in the chapel. There were soft flickering votives off to one side and statues of Mary and Joseph on the other. She walked towards the cross that hung in the center and fell to her knees and cried! She told God she had no idea how they got to this point in their lives. Her family was once so close, but now we are all so disconnected. She knew her daughter had trouble leaving the pain behind, caused by the person she once loved so very much. Her son in-law took it upon himself, to choose a different path in life that did not include a wife or daughter, it crushed her once vibrant daughter’s heart. The day she signed the papers was the day her attitude towards life changed. She would no longer allow anyone to take advantage of her like that again. It felt as if it happened overnight. Everyone said she would get over it in time, but today proved them wrong! “Why Lord God today? What changed? Why couldn’t I help her?” And she cried…
Her phone rang and it was just a reminder someone posted on Facebook. She knew if she didn’t answer it right away it would go to incoming text. She wiped her tears and viewed her text. It was nonsense. It wasn’t an emergency, concern about their well-being or someone looking for an update on their tragedy. It was just a simple post! Facebook went on without them! Then reality hit her like a freight train! She realized her daughter did cry out for help, but the only thing that took time to listen to her cry was her cell phone! It did not judge her, but kept records of her posts. It was not a human that could look her deep in the eyes and see her pain. Her cell phone did not heal her, it just kept her posts. She realized she was just as guilty. She thought as long as I talk to her or see her posts, she was okay.Every time they got together their conversations would turn bitter. Her daughter became very good at keeping people at bay, so they could not get close enough to see her pain. She quickly turned off her cell phone and tossed it a side and cried. She kept repeating her daughter’s cell phone did not save her, but kept records of her posts!
There at the foot of the cross came a peace deep within her soul. She felt Jesus was truly there with her and was filling her with His loving healing light. She found strength and love in this loving light, that penetrated every core of her being. It was in this moment, this touch, this love, this surrender, that she needed to heal her family. She felt the presence of her husband, whom she loved so much. She knew then and there she was not on this path alone. She thanked Jesus for loving her, not forsaking her and filling her with His light. She now had the strength, love and courage to walk down, that long hallway to her daughter’s room.
She gently opened the door to her daughter’s room. Her daughter appeared to be asleep, so she silently slipped by her side. She looked down at her daughter and was drawn back in time, when she was just a little girl, she would slip into her room and give her an extra kiss goodnight. She bent over and gently kissed her daughter’s forehead and whispered “I love you and missed you!” A tear rolled out of the corner of her daughter’s eye, as she turned to her mother and softly whispered, “Me too!’ Each tear they both shed that day began to washed away the pain. It was intense, but now they would heal, through Jesus’ loving healing light and simply being present for each other.
A few months later her daughter was ready to return home. She had prepared her daughter’s favorite meal in celebration, to welcome her home. She gave her daughter time alone with her own daughter and could not help but listen. She asked the little girl what she was doing and she replied she was busy texting her friend. What happened next was simply amazing! The little girl’s mother said her phone is not important. It doesn’t really care for you as much as I do! Come here and sit on my lap and let’s color instead. She snuggled her little girl and said, “Mommy sure loves you!” and her little girl turned to her and said, “I love you too!’ A tear rolled down her grandma’s cheek.
We can all find comfort, healing and strength in the loving healing light of Jesus. We know that the arms of someone you love can make you feel safe. A hug from a stranger can give you strength, when no one else is around. A heartfelt kiss can open a heart that had grown cold from abuse and neglect. We know hearing the words “I love you can tear down walls. Jesus is patient. He is waiting for us to come to Him too. Allow time for Him and others. Put down your devices, even for just a little while, Jesus is calling us to be present…” Here I am Lord!”
Please take a moment, go the extra mile to visit this site, quiet yourself and enjoy;
Did you know with a single stroke of a brush, I can solicit an emotional response from you? Either you will like it and want to see more or hate it and walk away. Why? It is because of the choices I made, before I painted the stroke; choices of color, value, gradation and design. What appeared to be a simple stroke moved you to make a choice. God, the creator of all did just that. He used color, value, gradation and design, to call you to love Him. He created the perfect environment just for you, for your soul to discover and recognize who you really are. He gives you the opportunity to celebrate that fact, with others of the same like mind. Why? To call you to love Him. You are a part of His design. You were not called to be there on your own terms, but because you belonged there all along. We are each given the gift of free will! Given the choice to accept or to decline. We are not forced or destined, to be one place or another, even though it feels like it sometimes. We sometimes hear our souls calling us to a certain place, that was specifically designed for us, so we could be free to be who we really are created to be. You are an integral part of His grand masterpiece! If you sat there and really thought about it. I mean really think about it. We can see that we are God’s paint brushes. We each offer our own unique brush stroke, one that is our gifted stroke used at the right time and place, for a very specific reason. We work in harmony, unison or contrast, with the next brush stroke. What we view as ciaos at first glance, becomes the perfect masterpiece! God’s masterpiece! We can look through His artist’s jar and see fine brushes, with perfect bristles, clean handles and a mirrored finish on their flanges, that have not been tested. God as the artist is unsure what kind of stroke He will get out of those brushes. As an artist He knows what kind of brush it is and what kind of stroke it is suppose to make, but sometimes the bristles are way to stiff, to create the desired stroke, until it has been tested. We see brushes that have different colors of paint from the past on their handles, but their bristles are fine and clean. We also see the unruly ones, you know the brush that has been abused and not taken care of properly, but they still have a purpose, in the artist’s jar! God uses every paint brush masterfully. If you are the worn and frayed brush, He can use you to make the most magnificent leaves on trees, flowers in the distance, surf splashing against the rocks or stars in the Heavenly sky. God tests us to see just exactly what kind of stroke we will make in His masterpiece. Take a look around you right now. Who are you surrounded by? Do you see older, wiser brushes, that were used and trusted time and time again? They could be grandparents, parents, teachers, mentors,Pastors, neighbors or trusted community leaders. Do you see brushes that have been recently broken in? They know what kind of stroke they make and can now be trusted to make it again. Do you see brushes that are well worn and just don’t look like much any more, but God keeps them in His jar for a reason? They might be our Seniors, someone who is tired, hurt, lonely, homeless or ill. Do you see brushes that are new and have never been used yet? This could be a child or an adult who has something to offer this world, but no one has noticed them yet. Sometimes we feel our environment is crowded and we want to be left a lone. Sometimes we feel overlooked, forgotten or worse yet, we don’t even matter. STOP! Look around you! God has placed you specifically in His artist’s jar for a reason. You matter to Him, for without you He could not fully create His masterpiece, because you have that one valuable stroke, only you can make! Why? Because God loves you for who you really are! He chooses each one of us, with precision, to lay each stroke in just the right place. God knew that with every stroke, he would solicit an emotion from you, even from His creation as a whole. The next time you are given a simple drawing from a child or able to see a painting from one of our world’s great master painters, I invite you to look deeper at the choices they made, to create their picture. Look at their choice of color, types of brush strokes, directional lines of crayon and their choice of subject matter. Look to see who offered this painting to the world. Knowing what you know now, How does it make you feel? You were given a gift, even for a fleeting few moments in time, a heartfelt gift from God, through the soul of the artist themselves. You have been blessed one brush stroke at a time. The simple stroke moved you to make a choice. Why? Because God loves you!