February 06-Epworth by the Sea
A few years ago, the band I managed was housed at Epworth by the Sea while performing at a venue on St Simon’s Island in Georgia. Epworth is a Methodist church retreat. The accommodations were rustic and sparse but had the funky feel of a summer camp. There was a sweet vibe and a sincere magic surrounding the graceful grounds, fountains, chapel and walks at Epworth.
As we were checking out of the rooms after our stay, I noticed a card tucked neatly on the dresser. It could have almost be mistaken for the traditional “how did we do” hotel evaluation card. But upon further inspection, on the card was printed one of the most simply eloquent prayers I had ever read. In the midst of guitar cases, book bags, luggage and a tight itinerary, this weary manager took out her notebook and copied every word of the prayer, slowly and deliberately. The prayer had no apparent author and no apparent reference to any work.
I felt its presence in my life at that point as a mystical piece of angelic warmth. In a world of deadlines, stress and nights away from home and loved ones, the prayer remains one of my deep favorites. I hope it becomes one of yours as well.
“In ancient times, there was a prayer for the Stranger Within Our Gates. Because this Christian Conference Center is a human institution to serve people and not solely a money making organization, we hope that God will grant you peace and rest while you are here. May this room be your second home. May those you love be near you in thoughts, dreams and prayers. Even though we may not get to know you personally, we hope that you will be comfortable and happy as if you were in your home. May you feel the presence of God while you are within our gates. May the purpose that brought you our way prosper. May every call you make and every message you receive add to your joy. When you leave may your journey home be safe.
We are all travelers. From birth till death, we travel between the beautiful world God created for us and the heavenly home he has prepared for us. May these days be pleasant for you, profitable for society, helpful for those you meet and a joy to those who know and love you best. “