The Island

“No man is an island…”
-John Donne

These days are filled with ritual. Most mornings find me on the trails of the local park here in Thompsons Station, trying to reverse the effects of age and the expanding universe that is my midsection. I’m not the only pilgrim on this path. The park is fairly quiet and empty, but this changes as the day wears on. Which is why I enjoy the morning hours to walk and listen, and see the incredible reminders of Grace and Truth in the world.

There is a spot on the path next to the playground where sand from the sandbox washes down. Footprints of the runners and walkers form a cool mosaic in the sand. But there is one spot right before this area where a single island of sand has been created. Maybe 8″ or so in diameter, it’s a solitary island…unmarked by those who pass it by.

I have a friend who quotes John Donne to me as an encouragement. ‘No man is an island,’ he reminds me. I understand his meaning and appreciate the gesture.

But each time I pass this island of sand, I’m reminded of that quote. And the more I think of it, I think I disagree.

I am an island.

Yes, we all long for community and fellowship and companionship so we can all sail away on one of these ships.

But so many of us have been cast adrift on the ocean…caught by a riptide in life and now captured by the current. Water water everywhere, but none fit to drink. Burnt by the sun, frozen by chill waters…we breathe in despair and exhale desperation.

Hope is nowhere in sight.

But then you find yourself washed up on the shore of a tiny island. It may be small, but it’s sweet relief from the hell of wind and wave. Fresh water quenches and the tiniest feeling inside begins to grow.

That’s when we remember Hope.

This morning I had the strongest urge to leave a mark upon my path. I wanted to remind all of us castaways that we are islands where God can be free to do his work in us and the wide world all around.

Father…make me an island of refuge this day.