Meditation Monday – Beachcombing As Spiritual Practice

by Christine Sine

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I have always loved to wander the beach admiring the sea creatures in the tidal pools and collecting interesting shells and rocks. Last week as Tom & I relaxed in our seaside cabin on Mayne Island British Columbia, was no exception. I quickly headed to the beach and soon had my head down focused on the amazing variety of rock colours, shapes, and sizes. Soon my pockets were bulging and I headed back to our cabin.

My friend Kim had also been out collecting, not rocks but sea glass, small pieces of weathered, frosted looking glass that have weathered over 30 years or more. Some pieces were as much as 100 years old. It was something totally new to me.

Sea glass from Mayne Island

Sea glass from Mayne Island

On my next trip to the beach I felt as though I had been given new eyes with which to see. Suddenly the rocks faded into the background and the sea glass danced before my eyes – white and brown and green and yellow fragments of it. As I turned for home I made my most unique discovery of all – a rock of fossilized evergreen needles – a new prize to add to my collection that I probably never have noticed that first day out.


Fossilized rock

As I reflected on my discovery that evening I was reminded of the blind man that Jesus heals in Mark 8:22-26

Jesus took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village. Then, spitting on the man’s eyes, he laid his hands on him and asked, “Can you see anything now?” The man looked around. “Yes,” he said, “I see people, but I can’t see them very clearly. They look like trees walking around.” Then Jesus placed his hands on the man’s eyes again, and his eyes were opened. His sight was completely restored, and he could see everything clearly.

How often I wonder do we miss the best of what God has for us because we don’t see clearly? And how often I wonder do we fail to see clearly because our eyes are focussed on the wrong things? We like this blind man often need a fresh touch from Jesus or like me on the beach a fresh word from a friend, so we can see everything clearly in the way that God intends us to.

What is your response?

Sit quietly in the presence of God and think back over the last week. Are there situations that come to mind in which your vision was clouded or your judgement faulty because you were focussed on the wrong things. How did Jesus rub spit in your eyes as it were? What or who helped to clarify your vision?  Is there something more that God is prompting you to do so that you can see more clearly?

Sunset Mayne Island

Sunset Mayne Island

An old story tells of a godly monk who was training young men to become priests. He asked the novitiates:  What do you see when you look at the sun?  They puzzled over  his question for hours. When I look at the sun I see a golden orb one responded. The old monk shook his head. What I see depends on the time of day another said, and yet another, it depends on whether or not there are clouds in the sky. 

To all their answers the monk shook his head. Finally he gave his own answer to the question: When I look at the sun I see the host of angels singing Alleluia glory to God, he said.

This old monk had learned to focus on a godly reality rather than an earthly one. The clarity of his vision, refreshed and renewed to see as jesus sees, not just what was visible but also what was invisible.

What is your response.

When we allow Jesus to fully open our eyes our vision of all things is transformed. Sit quietly in the presence of God and ponder the question: What would it take for me to see with Godly eyes? Allow God to speak to you. What response does God ask of you?

Watch the video below. Is there any further response God would ask of you?



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Olivia August 31, 2015 - 7:15 am

That rock of fossilized evergreen needles is truly stunning. Thanks for your reflection this morning.

Christine Sine August 31, 2015 - 8:15 am

Olivia it is amazingly beautiful. The precious things we see when we have our eyes truly open is incredible.

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