At this point in winter
ice is mostly melted and
teeny tiny glaciers surprise
hidden just around the shady bend.
Grasping a low,
steadying pine branch and skating
with my feet, remaining upright
induces a sense of accomplishment.
At this point in winter
I have 3 right-handed gloves
and none to warm the left fingers
unless squishing them when worn backwards.
Tired of only bare boughs
I creatively see buds
opening upon a lowland
tree surrounded by a moat of ice.
A day later a rare
frightens puppy, leaving her supper
she leaps atop the couch to bark
at dark clouds and protecting
loved ones from the intrusion
of booms and lightning streaking
out of nowhere across the night sky.
Still, my preference
is a pet that rarely barks
only shields us from the vicious
vacuum or intruder ringing doorbell.
One whose thoughts stir first in
the heart before pouring into
unsettled soul-spaces yearning
to be filled with the sacredness of love.
This penchant corresponds
to humans, non-barking types
preferred, who know the importance
of filling air with meaningfulness.
Exodus 24:12-18 (Common English Bible)
12 The Lord said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain and wait there. I’ll give you the stone tablets with the instructions and the commandments that I’ve written in order to teach them.”
13 So Moses and his assistant Joshua got up, and Moses went up God’s mountain. 14 Moses had said to the elders, “Wait for us here until we come back to you. Aaron and Hur will be here with you. Whoever has a legal dispute may go to them.”
15 Then Moses went up the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. 16 The Lord’s glorious presence settled on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days. On the seventh day the Lord called to Moses from the cloud. 17 To the Israelites, the Lord’s glorious presence looked like a blazing fire on top of the mountain. 18 Moses entered the cloud and went up the mountain. Moses stayed on the mountain for forty days and forty nights.
The prophet Moses was much more patient than most of us. Today I still see Mount Schilthorn in the Bernese Alps of Switzerland in my mind. After spending more than an hour riding in the scary car as it banged against the rugged mountain in the wind, my daughter and I finally stepped out. First we had fun checking out the James Bond display where they’d once filmed a movie.
At this summit, we stood in awe behind the half wall we stood in awe. At first, like Moses, clouds covered the mountains. Then the wind blew the clouds and we could see the incredible view. It seemed like they went on forever and ever. Although our visit lasted less than four hours, we thought that this must be what heaven feels like. We certainly felt God’s glorious presence and knew the sacred reality in real time.
This was one extraordinary experience, yet we are also able to connect to the sacred in ordinary ones. Watching the birds, meditating on the snow slowly falling, and feeling air upon bare skin may awaken us to the divine presence.
Do you remember a time in your life that you felt the grace of God leading you into sacred moments? This day, have you opened your eyes to seeing God even in the clouds of life, knowing that the beauty is temporarily obscured?
Prayers and blessings upon your journey,
Rev. Marta Wheeler
To view or download a PDF version of this devotional, click here: Devotional MW 2023-02-15