Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Looking for signs

Excavation in a friend’s yard for a renovation prior to the time her family purchased the house left a Native American arrowhead near the surface, which her family  later found. They love history and antiquities of every kind, so the relic was a real treasure for them.

She called last week excited about another discovery. “I was just thinking about the other arrowhead while gardening, and there right in front of me was another one.”

It reminded me of a day this summer while on vacation when I went out biking along a coastal marsh.

It was beside that road I first saw the marsh hen (clapper rail) referenced in Sidney Lanier’s poem, “The Marshes of Glynn,” which appears in my book, Give My Love to the Chestnut Trees. I had never seen the bird again, although I’d looked on several occasions. But this day, in my peripheral vision, I saw movement. I stopped my bike, and not just one marsh hen, but two emerged from the marsh grass.
 

 
 
 

 
For a long while, I stood very still, and watched them preen and strut around in the marsh. I captured great reference shots for paintings and could have stayed there all day, but I knew my family might start to miss me.

I left feeling I had been in a Holy moment with God―as if He asked me, “How do you like my workmanship?”

“It’s good God. Very good. Thank you so much for sharing it with me.”

These small gifts like arrowheads and marsh hens are what the Psalmist David called signs of His goodness.  (Psalm 86:17). They’re all around us, these little gifts of His love and grace, but we have to put ourselves in a place where we’re able to see.

Sometimes, we’re so focused on the problem, the heartache, the underbelly, that we miss them.

I was once in a hospital room with a family going through a hard time, and I looked out the window. Just outside was a lovely garden with trees and grass, and I felt consolation from the beauty. Just then, someone else said, “What a terrible view. Look at that old gas station over there.” I lifted my eyes and sure enough, there was a rundown gas station on the horizon, but somehow God had helped me miss it, only focusing on the beauty.

So today, no matter your circumstances, look for the signs of His goodness all around you. Who knows what form they will take, but be sure, they are there.

“Give me a sign of your goodness, that my enemies may see it and be put to shame, for you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me” (Psalm 86:17).

1 comment:

Lilyan West said...

Arrowhead and Marsh Hen, the name of our singing duo?

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