This Week's Focus

Investigate my life, O God
find out everything about me;
Cross-examine and test me,
get a clear picture of what I'm about;
See for yourself whether I've done anything wrong—
then guide me on the road to eternal life.

Psalm 139:23-24

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Day 23: alive

Friday was a beautiful day.

Reflecting on it later I am able to see, again, how, by clinging to God as a branch desperate for connection to the vine for life-giving sap, I am experiencing fruit growing out of my life, which is His.

I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

Some bicyclists found a terribly injured owl by the side of the road near us. We happened to be at a little neighborhood store and overheard this news and asked if we could go see it. Important note: I am not historically an animal person. At all.

There in a small, mucky ditch lay a magnificent curved brown-and-white spotted head with breath-taking, huge, brown, round eyes looking up at us out of tall, green grass. His sharp yellow beak stood out from his face; his wings were spread sadly and unevenly out from his body which was indistiguishable as it disappeared into the ditch.

When we approached he clicked loudly to let us know he felt threatened so we kept our distance, all of us feeling horribly powerless to help him in his obvious pain and fear.

After several calls, we ended up with the right place where animals are voluntarily rehabilitated. The woman on the phone instructed us to put the owl in a box and she would meet us after she got off work. So we got 3 pairs of gloves and a cardboard box and went to help the poor guy.

I was scared to death. Owls have dangerous claws and strong beaks. As the adult I felt that I should "take charge" because my children might be in danger, but that voice that I am learning to trust pressed upon me that my daughter had a gift with animals. She is gentle, patient and intuitive about what they need and how to be safe. So, I encouraged her, supported her, told her that I knew she had that gift and gave her the gloves.

It was beautiful to watch her. It was the kind of beauty that is what we see when a soul lives as God designed it, called it, purposed it. The owl was scared, but my daughter handled it perfectly. This large, powerful animal allowed my daughter to soothe it with her hand on her head, cradle it's wings in her small hands, pick it up and place it in the box. And then let her caress its beak and let drops of water fall into its open mouth. Exquisite.

She has talked for the past year of wanting to be a vet with a "rehabilitationist" specialty...we met an "animal rehabilitationist" that day. Only God can make those appointments and create those opportunities. And open a mother's eyes to see value in a gift that she normally overlooks, minimizes, scoffs. And trust Him and allow a child to stretch it's wings. To live. Thus God giving living fruit of His Spirit at just the right moment in a child's life.

And in setting her free, I am more alive, too. Fulfilling my own purpose. And hopefully the owl will live as well.

...and the fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.