Monday, September 17, 2012

Early Morning Grace Notes

Don't you just love grace notes?

I sure do. Papa God sent me a doozy this past weekend.

It was just before sunrise when I finished my second lap on the narrow road encircling the rustic campground bordering a lake where I was speaking at a women's retreat later that day.

I'm an early riser - I'm talking really early riser, like 4:30 or 5 a.m. - and it's become my habit to spend the wee, dark hours before the world awakens taking my first prayer walk of the day.

There's just something incredibly intimate about spending time with your Heavenly Father when you know you have His undivided attention.

In this slice of the planet, anyway.

But on that particular day, my soul was weighted down with some baggage I just couldn't seem to jettison. I had been walking along praying for a little help lightening my load when I noticed the horizon just beginning to pink up.  

Up ahead, I spotted an empty wooden dock protruding over the lake with built-in seats at the far end. Was it calling my name for a front row seat to a brand new day?

Ooh, yes, please. 

So I made my way post haste across an expanse of dewy grass and began crossing the creaky, worn planks of the dock when something dark and moving quickly on my right side entered my periphery. It was a flock of at least 25 birds swooping in to cover the handrails and benches at the end of the dock, just where I was headed. (I know they weren't hawks, titmice, owls, cardinals, or pterodactyls - I know what those look like, but I can't tell you exactly what brand of birds these were.)

Boy were they close. Even in the dusky dawn I could see the curiosity in their eyes. They weren't one bit afraid. In fact, they seemed peculiarly friendly. I stopped in my tracks so not to startle them. Then before I could blink a single blink, another large flock of 30 to 40 birds descended from nowhere to completely cover every square inch of the dock before me as thoroughly as gravy on pot roast.

That's strange, I thought, staring at the vast array of docile winged creatures staring benignly back at me not ten feet away. Don't wild birds usually fly AWAY from people, not TOWARD them?

At that moment, the huge glowing ball that was the rising sun broke above the treetops and bathed the whole scene in a surreal orange-brown light. We all turned as one to drink in the beautiful sight. Yep. A battalion of birds ... and me. Witnessing the miracle of a glorious new day together like old and dear friends.

Somehow that warm, orangey light seeped into my heart, and then my very soul as my winged friends and I worshiped our Creator together. I can't explain how I knew they were worshiping. I just knew.

And the weight of my inner luggage suddenly was no more. My heart took flight. I felt free and unburdened and loved. Sort of how a bird must feel as she soars above the mountains on a cool breeze.

Indeed, it was a grace note - a little touch from Papa to remind me, when I need it most, that He cares about me personally, and is still large and in charge. Regardless of how high I allow the baggage to pile.

Have you experienced a grace note of your own? I'd love to hear about it!    


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