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Where are you looking?


I was walking on the towpath section where there is a view of the bald eagles’ nest.  Now that there are eggs in the nest it is guaranteed that the majestic birds will be in sight.  At the same time I was praying about ministry.  What or with whom is the next mission opportunity?



The eagles were there, across the river, perched in the heights of the rookery.  Distance has no power to diminish their display.  The sight elevates the heart, quickens the pulse and stimulates awe.  I watched them for a solid block of time.

Then something happened that broke the spell of magnificence and drew me back into what was happening in front of my nose.

Less than 6 feet from me a perky little bird (a song sparrow) perched on a small shrub.  He sang boldly.   He was so close I could look in his eyes.  I could watch his throat quiver with vibrating tones.  He allowed me to be with him until I moved on.  My time with him sings in my memory.


The magnificent eagle remained distant — I could gaze from afar, but I am quite sure the bird was totally unaware of my existence.  Fascination and engagement were one sided.

The tiny, ordinary sparrow shared time and space with me.  I don’t know what the bird was thinking of me but I know he saw me and was ok with my presence.

Life, love and involvement are rarely about the spectacular situations.  My place for gratitude and service are most likely in the places that might be passed over as small, even trivial.

It’s not about magnitude or quantity — loving service is about depth of compassion and spirit of generosity.  That can happen overseas, or in your neighborhood grocery store.  The point is:  when you leave a particular time or space will there be something of Christ that echoes or lingers when you are gone?

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