When Gwen and I spent a couple of days on Kent Island in December, I imagined what it must have been like to be the first English settlers there. Even now it is something of a “nowhere.”
When we crossed the big bridge into Annapolis and told a sales clerk we were staying on Kent Island, he said, “Kent Island! What are you doing over there?” He made me a bit ashamed to be on my eroding bit of the Eastern Shore.
Ever since, those images have stuck with me. I sometimes feel like a pioneer in inhospitable territory. Maybe you do, too, as a Jesus follower. So I share my psalm of hope for me and you in 2012.
I confess that my hope was eroded.
The debilities took bites out of my enthusiasm
like Chesapeake Bay taking chunks
out of sandy islands
held together loosely
by scrawny trees and waving grass.
I possess that small hope you created.
But impossibilities blunt it and weaken any resolve,
like English settlers planting rye
on burned-over plots
waiting for hurricanes
to level their homes and carve new shores.
I cannot protect it.
The winds and waves obey You.
I am an island inhabited
by bad farmers.
I am a bad farmer inhabiting
an impossible island.
In this year
I do not expect to move elsewhere.
I do expect waves on my sandy shore
and ploughs sending dust into the wind.
Please guard my hope.
Please husband my plans.
Be my boat when the island is gone.
Be my home when the hurricane hits.