"As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame; / [ . . . ] Each mortal thing does one thing and the same: / Deals out that being indoors each one dwells; / Selves -- goes itself; 'myself' it speaks and spells, / Crying 'What I do is me; for that I came'." --Gerard Manley Hopkins

11 November 2014


The other night, I didn’t want to set the alarm; I knew I’d wake in plenty of time anyway, and there was an hour’s leeway before urgent tasks came into play.  But still I did ask the Lord to wake me at the “right” time for the day, whatever He saw fit for that to be.  When I opened my eyes groggily to see the cheery scarlet numbers greeting me, I admit that my thanks was a bit grudging.  Really?  I didn’t have to get up till 7:00 and You wake me a full hour earlier?  But I rose from the bed and I did give my grudging thanks – and asked for help to mean it.

And leaving the house a half-hour later, there was the nearly full moon, just a day or two on the wane, shining with a gem-like brilliance above the tree line as I reached the top of our street.  And when I arrived on campus, she shone like a beacon directly between the tops of the trees just above the chapel roof, beside the soaring cross.  Fifteen minutes later and I would have missed it. 

Why is simple, full-hearted thankfulness so hard?  The mind knows that He is sovereign, that even in the brokenness of this world, He is to be trusted.  Yet the heart sighs and complains; and how many times must I miss the beauty He offers because I refuse to look?

Yesterday and this morning, the moon again in a clear just-lightening sky, shining her reflected light for us to see if we have eyes, to hear if we have ears.