When my family and I went to Sanibel Island for the first time, I fell in love. You have to take a causeway over a very large bay - taking several minutes to cross - and then you're on your own tropical island; the only other place you can get to by land is Captiva. Known for its sunsets and sea shells, it's the perfect place for any beach-lover. And that's me!
Having never seen the Gulf Coast until traveling to Sanibel a couple years ago, I was overwhelmed with not only the beautiful turquoise color of the ocean, but the perfect temperature: enough to cool down from the heat of the summer, but not too cold. Needless to stay I was in the ocean most of the day time. While I was basking in the sun, I came across some pretty interesting sea creatures... mostly large shells and sand dollars. But by far the most unique critters was the 6-legged starfish. When I pulled it up from the sea floor, I saw the famous suction cups wiggling in the air while the other side looked like rough cardboard. But this starfish had 6 legs, unlike any I've ever heard of before. I was holding the starfish by one of it's legs to show my mom and all of a sudden the starfish detached itself from the leg I was holding up. I thought I broke it and immediately felt guilty for hurting a harmless animal! I searched quickly on the sea floor beneath me and pulled up the starfish again. Turns out I didn't break the starfish: by a defense mechanism, it broke free. A new leg was already growing in place of the leg that was freed. Looking back on my amazing vacation in Sanibel and the story of the starfish, I can reflect on the significance of creature during my Lenten journey because, in Christianity, Mary Mother of God is often referred to as the Star of the Sea. For those who travel and make their living by way of sea, the Star of the Sea provides hope and serves as a guiding star. Like the the starfish itself, the Star of the Sea is vigilant; Keeping a watchful eye while navigating through the water. Giving us direction to steer in the right path, especially when times seem difficult or frustrating. Justifying freedom and new life through regeneration. For me, the Star of the Sea serves as a token of guided direction from the Mother above this Lent. She serves as a motivator for me to reach out to others who might need a helping hand. And a symbol of potential to break free from the anything that might be holding me back from becoming the person I'm designed to be on this earth. Reposted with permission from It's About the Journey, www.megschuster.com