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

Friday, June 26, 2015

This Morning's "Quiet" Time

A number of years ago while reading a Henri Nouwen book for my Lenten devotionals, I was struck by a prayer that read, "Open my senses to Your presence, Lord." It reverberated so strongly in me that I took it as my own and even had my friend Vicki put it on one of her botanicals for me. Not only has it stayed in eye's view for all these years here in my sun room, it has lodged itself deeply within my heart.

Open my senses to Your presence, Lord!

For the last few months, I have found my morning devotional spot out on my deck. Very early, I pick up my basket of books, stick some cushions under my arms, grab my pencil and glasses while balancing my hot blueberry tea in my hand and carefully and quietly head out the door before the sun makes its way over the horizon. I yearn for this place. Love this place. And this morning was no different. 

If there's anything I've learned in these recent years is not to bury my head in a book -- and that includes my Bible. Because, you see, "the heavens are telling the glory of God and the firmament is proclaiming his handiwork. Day to day is pouring forth speech and night to night is declaring knowledge." In fact, "there is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard; YET their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world." (See Ps. 19:1-4)

Open my senses to Your presence, Lord!

So often we see God in the "heavens": in the way He expresses Himself in a rainbow or shouts "Glory!" from a beautiful sunset. And indeed that's true. But Psalm 19 also says the "firmament." And so, suddenly, my "quiet time" wasn't so quiet anymore as He opened my senses to
  • the bumble bee finding nectar in the purple bloom
  • the boisterous carolina wren calling from high in the pecan tree
  • the cat bird perched on the pine "meowing" softly to another
  • the drop in humidity when the sun broke above the trees
  • the cool breeze that ensued
  • the smell of green
  • the smooth flapping of a cardinal's wings as it flew just over my head
  • the downie woodpecker backing down the tree to get to the suet
  • the neighbor's cheery whistle as he, too, woke with the dawn
  • the red wing blackbird chasing a large moth across the backyard
  • the fragrant smell of potted basil just off my deck
  • the dew drops circling each strawberry leaf
  • the fly rubbing its front legs together as if he were about to eat something tasty
  • the 2 squirrels playing chase up, down and around the tree trunk
  • the sound of the first cicadas of the season
  • the warmth of the sun on the left side of my face
  • the taste of blueberry tea on my tongue
Yes, day to day POURS forth speech. It may be without words, but the voice goes out through all the earth. And quiet times become not so quiet as God comes near. I guess the defining question might need to be, "Are your senses open?"

Open my senses to Your presence, Lord. 

Yes. Let it be!

Just an ordinary moment...

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