The sun has risen but the rest of the house is still sleeping, so I softly make my way to the front porch with a cup of tea.  The fog has drifted far from the river this morning, admonishing all creation to tread quietly, but the birds will not be silenced as they sing their songs of praise to the Creator.  A bright Cardinal flutters near; his less showy mate follows closely behind, and all is so still that I can hear the sound of their small wings beating the air.

Stony St. Francis stands at the foot of the steps, his bowl filled with water, not seed.  He waits quietly, but no birds come.  They are hungry, not thirsty, this cool morning.  A gleaming drop of water clings to the point of his beard, and another to each hand, and tips of both sleeves. 

Just above the good saint’s head, thousands of crystal beads trace every tiny branch of the still bare Japanese Maple, standing like soldiers waiting for battle, or birds on a wire huddled against the cold.

No one stirs in the house.  No one walks their dog along the street, or shuffles sleepily to the end of the drive to retrieve the morning paper.  Peace and the presence of The Almighty hang heavily in the air.  This morning, this hour, the world all around is a sanctuary, and that is good…

Because I need to hear the voice of God.

I need to be reminded that He spoke a word and all I see came to be.  I need to remember that he feeds the birds of the air, and knows when even the smallest one falls from its nest.  I need to hear again that He loves me and that I am safe in the palm of His hand.

“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have ordained, what is man that your are mindful of him, and the son of man that you visit him?”  Psalm 8:3 – 4

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