Reflections by the Sea: Umbrella

Published 9:09 pm Wednesday, August 9, 2023

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By Betsy Ore Glass

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High

Will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

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I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,

My God, in whom I trust.”

– Psalm 91:1-2

The word “umbrella” comes from the Greek word “umbra” which means shade. The umbrella is over 4,000 years old. Ancient cultures used it for protection against the elements. It is said that the first umbrellas were used to provide shade from the hot sun. Then, the Chinese waterproofed their umbrellas with wax for use in the rain. They come in all shapes, colors and sizes. I couldn’t spend a day at the beach without one and others must surely agree, as the landscape is filled with colorful umbrellas as far as the eye can see on a hot day. Sitting in a shady spot under an umbrella provides a safe haven before venturing back out again in the summer sun. I enjoy seeing families huddled together in the shade talking and laughing … toddlers sitting in grandparents’ arms trying to wiggle free and responsible parents slathering on suntan lotion to the older kids to keep them from burning as they dart back and forth to the water’s edge. The umbrella is certainly our friend at a day on the beach with all the protection it provides.

Not a day goes by that I don’t ask for God’s protection for myself and my loved ones. I know that there are so many “near misses” in my day that it is God that saves me from cutting my finger at the cutting board, or prevents me from switching lanes while driving because there is a car in my blind spot. I know that He is there with His angels watching over all of us. It occurred to me that if we don’t pray for safekeeping for our family, especially our children, then who is? That is a sobering thought to realize that our family could be operating without His supernatural covering because we failed to pray. It is important to make it a part of our daily prayer life to seek the shade of His protection. “For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.” Psalm 91:11.

Betsy Ore Glass has long-standing ties to the Outer Banks. From Virginia Beach, her family bought a vacation cottage in the 60s and her love of the area began. Later in the 90s, Betsy and her husband bought a weekend cottage and introduced the area to their children. Then Betsy’s parents retired to KDH where the family gathered often. Reach her at To learn more about her books, visit