Daily Bread November 17

In the Details
Lin Daniels of Gardner, MA, USA

O Lord, how manifold are your works!
   In wisdom you have made them all;
   the earth is full of your creatures. -Psalm 104:24

Recently God has been revealed to me “in the details,” those tiny, sometimes obscure or partially hidden aspects of my daily life that I often fly right by, those things to which I am often oblivious. My eyes fixed elsewhere, my mind floating in some other galaxy.

For instance, while I was mowing my sister’s lawn, the robin made numerous passes over my head, prompting me to halt my task and investigate. To my surprise and delight, mama robin had a tidy nest camouflaged in the V-shaped notch of the dogwood tree! Have you ever paused to examine a bird’s nest? It is quite a simple, but well-designed, structure! How do those birds know the best “nest materials” to grab with their beaks? Who imprinted the nest design within them? (I am quite certain there are no courses in architecture or design for aspiring bird mamas!) How did they determine just the right-sized nest for them and their soon-to-be-hatched little ones? Who set the mama bird’s thermostat at just the right amount of heat to incubate those eggs? And especially, who picked out that lovely shade of blue for the eggs? It is a far more striking shade than could be concocted using a color chart at a local paint store!

When I slow down to take note of God’s presence in all of creation, I stand in awe of God’s imagination, knowledge, power, and spirit of “all things connected” (Psalm 50:11). Additionally, a greater hope is sparked within me because that same God who paid such attention to the detail of mama robin’s nest (and life) also loves you and me. God has surrounded and protected us with provisions of mercy and grace (Exodus 19:3-5). How blessed are we! If only we pause to notice and give thanks…

Prayer Phrase

“Over the years we melt into what we seek” (Joan Chittister, The Liturgical Year).

Spiritual Practice

We are in the threshold between seasons in the Christian calendar. You may have been noticing the physical transitions of the seasons wherever you live as some enter the depths of winter and others the warmth of summer. The seasons are a visible reminder that even among the most predictable rhythms and routines of our lives, change is always happening. The events of our moments, days, weeks, years form us and transform us over time. We enter each season different from when we arrived here last. This is the nature of this cyclical journey of faith. In these final days of the Christian calendar and the season of Ordinary time, there is opportunity to take a sacred pause, to notice how you arrive in this threshold. What have you been formed by this year? What has been deepening you as you’ve lived through another cycle of this life of faith?

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

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