Rev. Dr. Anna Verlee Copeland's Blog

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May 27 Post

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“Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! And do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying.” -- Luke 12:27-29

Consider the Loggerhead

After the rain, I can’t sleep. Something internal presses me from bed, out into the world in the dark, to discover God’s newest creation by wind and water in the night. This morning did not disappoint.

It was a special treat at low tide to plant the first human prints of the morning in wet sand. By the time I reached a long stretch of shore and dune unencumbered by human development, the remnants of yesterday’s storm stamped her foot one last time in a lightning fragment that disappeared into dawn.

Up ahead two wide tracks carved the beach, not so wide as a human vehicle nor as narrow as the print of a wandering pet who escaped the house during the night. What pattern could create such regular troughs leading from tide to dune, and at some later point, returning back out to sea?

Arriving here from another part of God’s creation, I’m so much better equipped to recognize the soft track of Black bear, the chaw mark of moose on spring aspen or the blood curdling howl of coyote after a fresh kill in the night. So it took a minute, squatting there at the base of the rising shore to recognize her from the shadows of her passing. I recognized then what I have never seen: the distinctive labor of loggerhead, making her way towards her nest while the world slept.

“Consider the lilies of the field,” Jesus said. “Do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying”, Jesus encouraged.” Consider the Loggerheads.

Prayer: God, you know what we’re up against today, and what is up against us. You know our needs before we think to pray for them, and prepare a feast for us before we recognize our hunger. Thank you for your constant provision through every season, as we consider your care for us and all creation. Amen

God’s grace, mercy and peace,

Rev. Dr. Anna V. Copeland
Interim Senior Minister
Community Church of Vero Beach

May 20 Post

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“For God alone my soul waits in silence; from God comes my salvation. God alone is my rock and my salvation. My fortress; I shall never be moved.” - Psalm 62:1-2

It’s been a dozen years since our daughter-in-law-Amanda went into labor with our first granddaughter. The day started early and had grown long by noon. Amanda had been in labor all night, and five of us took turns keeping her company, giving her comfort, wiping her brow. I was sitting on the floor in the corner praying and trying to stay out of the way while a team of nurses worked with her. Exchanging knowing glances, they finally hustled her off for an ultrasound, returning with the news that her excruciating pain was caused by the fact that this yet to be born child had wedged herself sideways with her head pressing down on a central nerve in the hip socket. Amanda, herself a nurse, knew then that this child could not slip sweetly into this world and the waiting hands of the midwife.

We had to wait for what seemed like forever, but finally the on-call surgeon showed up, wearing motorcycle leathers, helmet in hand. “Just give me a minute to change,” he said, “And we’ll get this little girl out of there.” Looking this kid up and down, I wasn’t sure I would trust him to change the oil in my car, let alone deliver my granddaughter. Desperate times call for desperate measures. There was nothing to be done but to trust.

Every part of our being screams action when the world appears to be falling apart. When we’re in trouble, when our family is in turmoil, when our community fractures, when our nation struggles, there rises from the belly a clear and compelling desire to do something. With the urgency of a woman in labor, our hearts and minds and bodies stir with an unshakable call to act. We worry that if we fail to respond in a timely manner, the results could be disastrous.

We’re all feeling a little cooped up right now in the delivery room. We’re eager to get things moving, get this over with, and get back out there, to experience new life on the other side. That day will come soon when your action will be required, but not quite, yet. When the time comes, the needed action will be easy. Waiting is hard. Every necessary and life-saving action starts with a time of preparation and quiet, radical trust.

Prayer: God of heaven and earth, you are my rock and my salvation. You know the needs of the world before I ever think to pray for them. Stir my heart with compassion, open my mind with insight, equip my feet for action and my hands to serve, when that day comes. In Christ’s name I pray. Amen

God’s grace, mercy and peace be with you,

Rev. Dr. Anna V. Copeland
Interim Senior Minister
Community Church of Vero Beach