BLESSINGS IN SMOKE

There was a terrible shipwreck and only one man survived, cast ashore on a tiny island with nothing but the clothes on his back. For a while he hoped for rescue. But in time he knew he had to make a life there on the island. And that is what he did. He taught himself to fish and hunt, to garden and cook, and he built himself a charming little cottage overlooking the bay. He even carved a tiny flute which he played every night after supper.

One day he hiked to the top of the mountain at the center of the island to see what he could see. As he reached the top, what he saw was a tower of smoke and his little cottage going up in flames.

He ran down the mountain as fast as he could. But it was too late. The cottage was in ashes — and his flute, his garden, his tools, his bow and arrows — everything he’d made with his own hands was gone, all gone!

He wept. He raged. He cursed God. He despaired. And finally, as night came, he collapsed on the sand and fell into a deep sleep.

The next morning he was awakened by sailors who had rowed ashore from a great ship to rescue him. “But,” he exclaimed, “how after all this time did you know I was here?”

“Ah,” said the captain, “we saw the smoke from your signal fire.”

Source | Dennis R. Clark, Sunday Morning: Reflections on the Word
(Sheed & Ward, 1996)
Fourth Sunday of Advent, Cycle C

PONDER AND CONSIDER

  • When you have reached the end of your rope, as the saying goes, tie a knot and hold on. Perhaps this is what hope is about: Hold On, Praying Expectantly.
  • When all seems lost and we can feel our emptiness and feel our aloneness, Life has a way of surprising us blessing us and filling us in a way we’d least expect.

THE LIGHTHOUSE AND THE SHIP

A battle ship was on exercise at sea in bad weather. The captain was on the bridge. It was foggy. Just after dark the look out spotted a light on the starboard side. The captain asked if it was steady or moving. The look out replied the light was steady meaning they were on direct collision course with that ship! The captain ordered the lookout signal to the other ship:

“Change course 20 degrees. We are on collision course.”

The signal came back ‘”Advisable for you to change course.”

The captain signalled ‘”I am a captain. Change course 20 degrees.”

“I am a seaman second class. You had better change course 20 degrees” came the reply.

The captain was furious. He sent back ‘”I am a battleship. Change course!”

Back came the signal, “I am a lighthouse. Your call.”

Source | a variety of sources
See also Lighthouse and naval vessel urban legend

PONDER AND CONSIDER

Our limited perception of our reality can limit and endanger us. What we do to open our mind to the world of others?

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