Resurrection - Part II

I go down to the edge of the sea.
How everything shines in the morning light!
The cusp of the whelk,
the broken cupboard of the clam, / the opened, blue mussels,
moon snails, pale pink and barnacle scarred—
and nothing at all whole or shut, but tattered, split,
dropped by the gulls onto the gray rocks and all the moisture gone.
It's like a schoolhouse / of little words, / thousands of words.
First you figure out what each one means by itself,
the jingle, the periwinkle, the scallop
       full of moonlight.

Then you begin, slowly, to read the whole story.
                          —“Breakage” by Mary Oliver

          I recently got to spend a couple of beautiful days on the Bodega Coast.  We witnessed wild and bold waves and places where the ocean churns itself into a gorgeous turquoise whenever the waves crash on rocks before hitting the coast.  I could watch the waves and the ebb and flow of the tides for hours (and I did).  And I loved seeing the magical treasures the ocean tosses up on the shore.  Before we left, I asked the ocean to send me a blessing—to throw something up on the shore for me to take home to remind me of God’s goodness and my connectedness to all things Holy.  Almost immediately, three sparkly gems washed ashore.  Now, someone else might look at my gems and see broken pieces of sea trash.  But even as I write, these gems lay before me on my desk, and I see symbols of God’s grace.  These beauties inspire me to remember that   all kinds of grace rise out of brokenness.  And I know that even the story fragments of our lives work together to weave a tapestry of amazing beauty.  Even when we feel broken.  Or alone.  Or uncertain.  Or afraid.  Or angry.  Even when the world seems to conspire against us and toss us—broken—on the shore, we are always and forever baptized in God’s love.  We are glittering reminders that God’s love and grace are alive and well.  We, too, are part of the story of resurrection.

See you in church,


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