heron clipartOver the weekend I went out for a walk. The city is restoring our neighborhood park after a fire last year. It contains a small pond and marshland area with a carefully tended natural habitat. It was a gorgeous spring day, and we never get enough of those in Chicago! As I walked the path that leads around the marsh I noticed someone on the other side looking intently at something in the pond. Curious by nature, I stopped to follow his gaze. At first I didn’t see anything. Then all of a sudden, there it was. A single blue heron—tall, graceful, and still as a stone on the edge of the marsh. My natural instinct was to stand still and observe.

After a while I started to also observe myself. My breathing had slowed down and so did my mind. I had been standing still for 10 minutes and it seemed as if only seconds had passed. My posture was erect and my heart was full of gratitude. All of the ingredients for prayer were right there! God used the gift of this blue heron to stop me in my tracks and lead me close. Pure gift!

Water lily

 Be silent, be still, alone, empty before God. Say nothing, ask nothing . . . let yourself be looked upon, known, understood. God loves you with an enormous love. Be still . . . let yourself be loved.     – Edwina Gately