Open My Eyes and Ears Lord

By Marcy Barthelette

When I look up at your skies, at what your fingers made—the moon and the stars that you set firmly in place… Psalm 8:3

On a recent visit to our home, my granddaughter was getting restless so I suggested a walk. She was quickly on board and told everyone in hearing distance that she and Grandma were going on a walk for just the two of us. No one else was invited. She always likes a little one-on-one time with her grandparents so this was an excellent opportunity.

It was nearing dark so we wouldn’t have much time and I chose a route that would keep us on sidewalks and in lighted areas should darkness fall before we returned. You never know when a neighbor will want to engage in a bit of conversation. There’s a little church down the street that I’ve mentioned before and as we passed by, Rachel said, “Look Grandma, there’s a bird’s nest on the cross.” I looked up and sure enough, nestled on the arm of the cross and tucked close to the upright was a perfect little nest. I thought to myself how smart that mama bird was to build right on the arm of God.

As Rachel and I continued our walk, she noticed every little thing along the way; a barking dog, two adorable young kittens, and the lion statues that guard one neighbor’s driveway. They’ve recently been embedded in concrete because someone tried to take one and they’ve also had a new coat of paint, not to mention the sunglasses propped on their noses. Rachel thinks they’re a hoot. She also sees well-manicured yards with pretty flowers and others that could use a little TLC. She questioned why there was an apartment building (only three apartments side by side) amidst the single-family homes. Sometimes I wonder about that too.

She swatted flies and dodged mosquitos but then she spied one last thing that would never have caught my eye from that angle or distance. As we rounded the corner toward home, we were able to see that same church from the back side where there’s another cross and, would you believe, there was another bird’s nest there in the exact same position as the one on the front of the church.

Coincidence? I think not! God’s creatures pay attention to the nuances of the natural world. Instinct tells them to find safe places for their families to grow until they are ready to leave the proverbial “nest.” Since that walk, I’ve thought a lot about how much or how little we humans pay attention to the lessons and prompts that God gives to us. I daresay not as often as His animal creatures.

I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, and on your wondrous works. Psalm 145:5   

So I vowed to myself that I would listen and watch more closely. This morning, as I woke, I heard the drone of a tractor in the distance. Was it our neighbor across the highway, baling the recently cut and raked hay, or another getting an early start on mowing his lawn? As I stepped outside for my walk, I could hear a gentle breeze singing through the trees. As I passed one house, there was such a ruckus in a tree beside the road that I thought a limb was falling through to the ground. It turned out to be two very lively squirrels chasing each other up and down the tree. When I recovered from my shock, I heard a light tapping sound that meant there was a woodpecker somewhere nearby collecting insects from under the bark for breakfast. As I rounded the corner by the church and remembered those two perfect little nests, I was awakened from my memory of walking with Rachel by the loudest barking I have ever heard from a tiny dog. The animal had not seen me pass by recently and I had forgotten how loud it can be. I passed by the newly tinted lions decked out in their mirrored shades, a front yard adorned with pots of lovely blooms, the hayfield that yet held no bales, and was quickly back home, ready to begin a new day, refreshed and totally aware of all the goodness of life. It’s amazing how little we really need to be happy and secure in this world. And you know what, I don’t even remember noticing the traffic on the highway.

That walk with Rachel ended on a high note too. You see, she never misses much, except the things she wants to miss. After all, she’s in sixth grade now and craving independence. We enjoyed good conversation, and some enlightening comments, and, just as we were on the home stretch, I felt a hand gently clasp mine, just like when she was little. She still needs her Grandma every now and then.

As I sit here and write, I can gaze across the lawn and see beautiful light patterns filtering through the trees, leaves gently waving in the breeze, and insects zipping through the air. Whatever else is going on, here in my corner of the world, God has control of everything and life is good. Won’t you welcome Him into your world too?

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man (woman or child) who trusts in Him! Psalm 34:8

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