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Friday after Lent–March 13, 2009

  • Posted on Mar 13, 2009

The Treasures of Nature

Ask the creatures, they will tell you. Job 12

Treasures of the heart are certainly those we love. For me, another deep source of treasure is found in nature. For many cultures, animals are markers of the presence of the Holy Spirit. When I was installed as Rector of Memorial, a bat flew from the rafters, down the center aisle and out the front door during the sermon. I got a call from a colleague the next day that this was a sign of the Holy Spirit. I’ve had folks share with me that after a loved one died, a bird or animal visited them for a few days…perching on the window or appearing in the yard. These persons were sure it was their loved one saying that everything was going to be all right.

During my sabbatical, I spent a good deal of time on the outdoors deck at our home in Western Maryland. I continue to make that my reading, writing and journaling spot. Beginning with the sabbatical and continuing on until this day, I feel blessed by the frequent appearance of one of God’s creatures. One day, I heard a strange buzz near my head as I read on the deck. When I looked up, there was nothing to be seen. I wondered if it could be a bumblebee or another type of insect. But the noise wasn’t quite right. Later in the morning, I heard the noise again. This time I was daydreaming so I spied the noise-maker. It was a beautiful green and blue hummingbird. Its tiny wings whirring, the hummingbird flitted up close to me—so close I could touch it–and then whirred away into the trees. I felt that it was a sign from God. I’n not sure what sign…but a sign to me that all was well. The hummingbird immediately made me happy. Over the past three years, the hummingbird makes a regular appearance when I appear on the deck to read. I have never had a bird come so close before. We are friends. Somehow that hummingbird is trying to teach me–what could be the teaching?

In what ways has a creature of God taught you?