November 22, 2022

From the Rector…

The Frazer family has had a house at Orange Beach for generations. It is on St. John’s Bay and has a small beach and pier on the water. We love to spend time there for vacation and the dogs get to go with us. One year, when Banshee was much younger, we were spending a week at the house. Every morning Banshee and I would go out to play fetch. I would throw the stick for her, and she would swim out into the bay and retrieve it and bring it back to me.  

On the third day of playing fetch, after Banshee had gone to retrieve a few times, I noticed a porpoise swimming into the area and pulled Banshee out of the water. We watched the porpoise splash around a bit before it swam off again. This happened the next day and the next and the next—Banshee and I would be playing fetch and a porpoise would swim into the area.  

By the fifth day, I started thinking that either this porpoise took the same path to work every day, or it was curious as to what Banshee and I were doing. It turned out to be the latter. On day seven, when the porpoise swam into the area between the piers, Banshee and I jumped up on the pier and walked out to the far end to watch it. The most extraordinary thing happened next.

As we stood at the end of the pier watching this porpoise swim around, she surfaced at one end of the pier, tossed a fish the length of the pier, swam to it, grabbed it, swam back, and did it again. The porpoise threw that fish, swam back, and threw it again about a dozen times. She was playing her own version of “fetch” with us!  

I was amazed. I really could not believe what I was witnessing. Banshee was having the time of her life, barking, and running up and down the end of the pier with the porpoise. I got a little worried she might go in the water, but she seemed to know that it was much more fun to play with the porpoise this way. And the porpoise was definitely playing the game for our benefit. She had obviously been watching Banshee and me every day and wanted to join in the fun. Her throwing of the fish and circling back to throw it again was her version of fetch.

At some point, the porpoise tired of us, ate her fish, and swam away. We had to leave that afternoon as vacation was over. I hated to go and knew that the next day when the porpoise showed up, we wouldn’t be there and that made me sad. And no matter how often we go to the beach and Banshee and I play fetch, we’ve never seen the porpoise who played fetch with us again—at least none of them have swum up and played fetch with us.

Nature is amazing. Mostly because it is created by God and given to us to love and cherish and take care of. And more than simply being amazing, what God has created is filled with abundance. Too often, we buy into a theology of scarcity. I think that is mainly due to the capitalistic nature of our society and how capitalism, as a principal of economics that drives our marketplace, has also been allowed to infect our beliefs about politics, education, sports, the arts, the environment, even religion. We have been conditioned to believe that there is never enough. But there is always more than enough—at least of the things we really need—because our God is an abundant God and that is the world that he created.

Whenever I get lost in that negative thinking that there isn’t enough or an apocalyptic idea in which hope seems feint and fear begins to run amuck—I think about that day on the pier with Banshee and I am reminded that God is good all the time. That all God created is enough, more than enough. My life is filled with abundance, and I am so grateful for all the things that I have in my life that keep me mindful of how big and gracious our God truly is.  

My prayer for you this Thanksgiving is that you might find abundance in love and wonder and gratitude for all that God has given you. Amen.

Light and Life,