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I am with you always ...
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I am writing from the beach of Penang, Malaysia.  Penang is also called Pearl of the Orient. It is known mainly for its beaches and food.  It so happens that I am also originally from Penang, Malaysia.  Here, on the beach of Teluk Bahang, I see a rich blend of cultures, different ethnic groups, different age groups and people of different religious beliefs.  I feel really at home here because I grew up in this atmosphere.  The sea and beach make me feel most at home.  The food can cause one to practice gluttony.


I have been walking on the beach with the waves beating at my calves every morning.  It is a time when I can get away from all the hustle and bustle and just be.  It is warm out here with constant gentle cool breeze blowing and warm sea water beating.  The part of the beach where I start walking has fine white sand that is very pleasing to the feet.  However, a short distance from where I begin my walk, the sand is full of broken seashells that are sharp that poke at my feet as I walk.  A short distance away, the sand is yellowish but fine again.  Some distance away, the beach is polluted with garbage.  This morning as I was on my walk and meditating of God’s assurance and peace, I thought of how our lives mirror the texture of the beach.  When we draw near to God and experience God’s peace, leadership, and direction, we feel at peace and the journey is much smoother just like when I was walking on the white or yellowish fine sand.  However, life is not smooth sailing and at times we feel the sharp edges of human behavior tugging at us just like the sharp broken seashells poking at my feet and the imperfections of the world begin to show its ugliness like the garbage that appear on the beach.  Like the beach that is full of beauty yet has its imperfections, life is also beautiful yet filled with imperfections.  When we spend time to draw closer to God, we are able to keep our eyes on the beauty of God and not be overcome by the imperfections of the world.  When we remain just at the periphery focusing on the sharp edges and the garbage that pollute the world and our lives, we lose sight of God.  When that happens we are unable to effectively mirror God’s love and grace.  We are sucked into the world to be of the world instead of being in the world.  However, just as the waves never fail to gently beat at my calves, God never fails to gently call out to you and me saying, I am with you always…”  The constant saltiness of the sea water reminds me of God’s constant love.  God is calling us … “come to me all of you who are weary and I will give you rest”.  Return to the center, return to the fine sand, return to God whose arms are always open wide to receive you.


Pastor Cynthia Paquette, Administrative Pastor

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