"What He ordains for us each moment is what is most holy, best, and most divine for us." Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Monday, July 30, 2012

How to Pray for a Grandson

Long before owls were so popular and the image found on anything from notepads to wrapping paper, my daughter-in-love was given this particular bird as a prophetic word.  And it had everything to do with having a baby.  Thus, “Little Hoot” was conceived and born, quite literally.

It should be of no surprise then that when my husband and I attended the Birds of Prey show at Callaway Gardens a few weeks ago that I was truly excited to learn that the featured bird was the owl.  Preliminary reading had already told me that all raptors have three distinguishing characteristics. 

1)      They all have sharp talons

2)      Their beaks are curved and pointed

3)      They are carnivorous

But of the birds of prey, the owls have three characteristics that set them apart from all the other raptors.

1)      Their keen eyesight

2)      Their acute sense of hearing

3)      Their silent flight

Probably the most striking of all his features is his eyes.  It’s what gives him his “wise” appearance.  They are large and forward facing and may account to up to five percent of the creature’s body weight.  If you or I had the same eye to head proportions that owls have, our eyes would be as big as grapefruits!  And because of the excess rod cells in his retina, he can literally see in the dark.  In fact, all an owl needs to see at night is the light from two stars.  And see he does: ten times greater than you or I, with great telescopic vision.  However, unlike human eyes, the owl’s eyes are stationary, therefore he cannot "roll" or move his eyes – in other words, he can only look straight ahead!  To compensate for this, owls are able to turn their heads around approximately 270 degrees, or about three quarters in each direction, giving the appearance that they can turn their heads all the way around.   

But next to their keen eyesight is their tremendous sense of hearing.  The eyes are in the middle of a disk of feathers, which are highly specialized sound conductors. The owl can flex these facial disks, channeling sound waves to the ears to catch even the faintest of sounds.  On top of that, an owl’s ears are asymmetrically placed.  That is, the right external ear canal may be a different shape than the left external ear canal and each could be located higher or lower on the side of the head. The naturalist giving the show suggested we take two empty toilet paper rolls, place each to an ear and point them in different directions.  (I suggest doing this at night when the neighbors have all gone to bed.)  This design enhances hearing depth perception. 

And lastly, the owl’s ability for silent flight sets it apart from all other birds of prey.  Two different feathers were passed around at the demonstration that afternoon.  One was a hawk’s; the other an owl’s.  No doubt the intricate feather structure of the leading edge of the owl’s wings enables him to fly noiselessly.  As air passes over the feathers, the sound wave is minimized and the sound level of the flapping is reduced to almost nothing.  What a great advantage to approaching its prey.  No wonder the great horned owl is called the “tiger of the air”!

So what does all this have to do with praying for my grandson? 

Everything.  Absolutely everything!

That's why, when I heard of the solid trust you have in the Master Jesus and your outpouring of love to all the followers of Jesus, I couldn't stop thanking God for you—every time I prayed, I'd think of you and give thanks. But I do more than thank. I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him—endless energy, boundless strength!

Ephesians 1:15-19

Just an ordinary moment…

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