In Awe

Monday, July 2, 2012

It was kind of a joke that I wore work out clothes. I didn't jog, or even walk fast. I strolled, a water bottle in one hand and my phone in the other. I texted with my husband and thought about the week. I thought back to our first day here, crabbing on the dock with him, Big Guy, and my father. The tide was low and the oyster banks were exposed. They spit at one another, oysters acting like little boys. The crab line hung below, lonely. Our 5 year old megaphone kept the crabs away. Still, we stayed; the adults quiet and sushing as the trap waited.

An egret landed to hunt nearby. He stepped gingerly between the oyster shells, long legs and webbed feet explaining their use. He tiptoed, gracefully. His long neck arched out, spying food. We hushed. He spied something near us, and inched closer. Step, step, spear. As his neck swept back up, we saw a fish in his beak. He twisted it around, and swallowed. Down the thin white gullet it went. He crept again. The fish he wanted were close to us, and we did not move. Step, step, spear. Closer and closer he came, until we could almost reach out and touch him. We watched.
He made his way to the pluff mud under the dock, and continued to hunt on the other side. When the fish moved on, he spread his white wings and glided away, low over the water. We exhaled collectively, "Wow."
For a moment, I wished I'd had my camera with me. These photos are from later in the week, and they aren't as close, or as interesting, as the encounter we had. But then, if I'd had my camera, my hands would have been too busy to hold Big Guy in my lap as we watched. I couldn't have wrapped my arms around him to hold him still. I wouldn't have felt his excitement. My memories would have been the photos, the flat, lens-restricted view. Sometimes I get tired of viewing life through a screen. I'm glad I didn't, this time, because now my memory is three dimensional, full.
As I thought about all this on my walk, I fished for a deep God-thought. Was the egret's hunting like God's pursuit of me? Was his focus a demonstration of how I should keep my eye on God? 

No. I couldn't go there. When we watched the egret, I was simply in awe of creation. To spin it otherwise would cheapen the memory. Still, "awe" felt, perhaps, not deep enough . . . until I opened my computer to write for the first time in a week on Friday morning. I read the post I'd set to publish before we left, and I was reminded of the good use of leisure:
O God, in the course of this busy life, give us times of refreshment and peace; and grant that we may so use our leisure to rebuild our bodies and renew our minds, that our spirits may be opened to the goodness of your creation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
It is enough to simply be in awe and appreciate the goodness of God's creation. That is leisure put to good use.

Have you been in awe yet this summer?

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8 Responses to “In Awe”

  1. yes, i have!  in fact, it's been hard at times to focus on some things that have needed to get done.  but i feel Him saying, "stop.  listen.  enjoy."  so i do.  and i have fallen in love with Him all over again.  time well spent, yes?
    praying for you this week, courtney!

  2. This is so good Courtney, that sometimes we need to be content with the awe, just that. Hope you have a good holiday week with your family, with lots more awe in store.

  3. Not nearly as much as I'd like. I'm about to take a couple of weeks off and hope to get some time in the beauty of nature--barring that it isn't so hot! Yikes! But thank you for this little peek into your awesome moment with your family and with your God. :)

  4. Amen to that! God delights when we delight in Him. Lovely, lovely thoughts.

  5. I hope you get to spend lots of awe-inspiring time in nature. Enjoy your time off!

  6. Thank you, Shelly. We live in such a beautiful area, don't we? Hard to not be awed on a daily basis. Hope you have a happy 4th.

  7. Hi Steph - Thanks for stopping by. And yes, that is always time well spent. Have a wonderful week!