Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Finding a penny

The quote in the sidebar from Annie Dillard speaks of "finding a penny [that] will literally make your day." I found one last night. And it wasn't just a penny. It was a silver dollar. And to be honest, I didn't find it. It found me.

I took Joel to soccer practice last night. My back had been hurting but I determined to walk a bit, hoping to relax the spasms that have been bothering me. I started out slowly around the soccer complex, three big fields bordering a limpid, trash-lined stream. The air was cool and damp and smelled of grass and mud. The lights on the tall poles illuminated the field through a halo of mist. The transformer box for the big lights buzzed. Not really the place you'd expect a silver dollar.

I picked up speed and decided to circle not just the lit fields, but the unlit and unused field at the far end of the complex. And then it happened. As I neared the far corner of the dark field, a Great Horned Owl hooted from a tree by the stream, very close, very loud, and just once. Silver dollar indeed. I practically skipped the rest of the way, I was so delighted with that hoot-owl call.

You may not think that an owl call is such a big deal. But for me, last night, that sound was a gift. And yes, as Annie Dillard said, it literally made my day...and night.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Was your discovery a "divine appointment" and, if so, how do you know?

C

Amber Benton said...

You should ask Andrea about the gift of Owls... your story this morning reminded me of a dusky walk she described to me a few years ago when she was praying through a struggle. Owls are surprising creatures!

Beth said...

By faith, I believe that God orders my days; "In Him we live and move and have our being." (Acts 17:28)

I also believe that "every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow of change." (James 1:17).

God ordered my day so that I took Joel to soccer practice that night. I was walking around the soccer field and I heard the owl. Divine appointment...hmmm...I hadn't thought of it that way. Rather, I had thought of it as an unmerited gift from a loving God who knows me so completely that he knows how a small thing, like an owl's call, brings a smile to my face and a lift to my steps; a gift from a gracious God who shows his beauty and faithfulness in his creation.

How do I know? Not by empirical data, but by faith. For more on faith, read 1 Corinthians 5:7 and all of Hebrews 11.