The Whistling Herons of San Geronimo
Toni always smiles when she looks at me the first morning out at San Geronimo. It seems like she is looking at me, but also like she is looking at someone else.
She tells me she is looking at someone else. She is looking at “old man Matt,” the one who has matured with the ages. She says it was a picture God gave her one day when she was praying. Me, out on the lawn in front of the house. Dancing. In the rain. In that picture she is on the porch drinking coffee. The kids are grown and gone. The early “life and death” struggles of the project are part of distant history and there are only a handful of us that still remember them.
And I am dancing in the rain.
Other than the Stuart and Irene Heath, now passed away, I have met only one other couple that seems as crazy as we are about this place. It is a pair of Whistling Herons. They have been here since we first came in 2009, and they seem to appear in the meadow every time we are out here. Sometimes I see only one of them, and I worry a little bit. A lump appears in my throat, and I get thirsty, and I scan the whole place until all of the sudden, I see a pair of feet land on the ground and wings fold into the sides of the graceful female. Then they’re both there. Never too close to each other. Never too far apart. They walk gracefully across the grounds, the assured true lord and lady of San Geronimo. Their colored heads and grey-blue necks lead the way, followed by their yellow breasts, until, stock still like statues, some beetle, worm, or lizard reveals itself and their heads lightning-strike down into the dirt for their meal. I call them Stuart and Irene, and remember that I am a steward here of something so much larger than ourselves.
And then, as though nothing had happened to interrupt their stride, they start again. Head, neck, body. Head, neck, body.
By this time, Matty or Anne or Emma (the dog) has become aware of their visit, and head off into the chase… ”Birdie, Papa, birdie!” “Ruff, ruff, ruff!”
The herons take wing and perch up in the tree, annoyed by the intruders, but secure that in a few moments, when the children bore of their chase, the grounds will be theirs once more. And then they land again. He, absorbed in his morning task. And She? I swear this morning I saw a glint of a smile on her face as he danced across the grass in the rain and plunged his head downward into the matted grass, lost in his morning hunt, oblivious to the wonder and delight all around.
Verse of the Day:
“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20)
It’s September 17th, day 27. 13 days left. $0 pledged yesterday! $9,998 pledged total. $50,002 left to lower.*
Questions for the heart:
When is the last time you watched something in nature that brought you closer to God? What was it? As you bring it to mind, ask yourself, “How does this feel?”
T.A.L.K. to Jesus
- T- THANK Him for what you read in the daily story. TELL Him how you feel about you and about San Geronimo.
- A-ASK Him, “Jesus, is there anything you want me to know about this, today?”
- L-LISTEN: Pay attention to any Scriptures, thoughts, feelings, images, or sensations He brings to mind.
- K-KNOW: Receive “God peace” and be reassured by His presence “Be still and know that I am God.” Ps 46.10
After you TALK with Him, can you share with us? We are birthing something together, and He has invited us along with Him.
Share your replies on the wall of the “66 for San Geronimo” facebook site or below in the comment box.
*We believe it is OUR job to RAISE hands, RAISE prayers, RAISE praise, RAISE our cries. It is GOD’S job to “shower blessings,” to “pour out” resources, to lower down what we need to us.