Message in a bottle!

Today I wish to take you to the seaside. Remember, all those summer days over many years, when you spent some time dipping your toe in the water. Perhaps you wondered for a moment or two, where has this water come from, where did it begin, how many miles has it travelled, is the tide coming in or going out? Paddling in the water, ankle deep along the shore, picking up a shell now and again, throwing back into deeper water a piece of drift wood only to see it come drifting back to the shore! Now in the month of August the days of viting the beach are becoming fewer as the return to school looms on the horizon.

With this image in mind, I wish to share with you a poem by the Polish poet and Nobel Prize for Literature winner way back in 1966, Wislawa Szymborska. Her book, Poems New and Collected 1957-1997 is always within easy reach for me here in my study and how I enjoy reading and rereading her words. Take a moment to pause and ponder her poem Parable. Be sure to take a careful moment to read every word and as you do imagine yourself walking along the shore with your toes in the water.


Some fishermen pulled a bottle from the deep. It held a piece of paper,
with these words: “Somebody save me! I’m here. The ocean cast me on this desert island.
I am standing on the shore waiting for help. Hurry! I’m here!”
“There’s no date. I bet it’s already too late anyway.
It could have been floating for years,” the first fisherman said.

“And he doesn’t say where. It’s not even clear which ocean,” the second fisherman said.
“It’s not too late, or too far. The island Here is everywhere,” the third fisherman said.
They all felt awkward. No one spoke. That’s how it goes with universal truths.

Lord God,
I turn to you and give you my thanks
for this gift of life.
Many are those
who have made and make my life possible.
I give thanks for those
who love me, no matter what.
I give thanks for those
who offer encouragement
in my moments of self doubt,
for those who forgive, not once,
but time and time again.
For all who make Here
a good place to be, I offer prayers
of gratitude. Amen.

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