A reflection by Ted:
Every morning I receive a Daily Devotional email from a group of United Church of Christ ministers called Stillspeaking. Last Thursday the author, new to birding, indicated that birders recognize their beloved winged ones from the sound of their songs. The birders tromp all over creation following the music until they confirm a sighting. From this point of information, the writer extrapolated a delightful and touching connection. He challenged us to listen for the voice of the Holy One in our own faith journeys, just as diligently and lovingly as the birders attend to the melody of their flying friends.
That day I was stressing about getting ready to go away for two and a half weeks for an intensive period of teaching. We were gathering for a scheduled four-hour staff meeting. Before I left, I struggled, in vain, to finish responding to student assignments. As a member on the search committee for the new organist and choir director at my church, I had volunteered to phone the unsuccessful candidates; when was I going to fit that in?
In the midst of all this pressure, and I will admit anxiety, I decided to slow down and read my devotional at a prayerful and human speed. That proved to be a very helpful option for my soul.
After pausing for this endeavour, I was moved to forward the birdsong email to a number of colleagues who avidly enjoy pursuing the creatures of the air. I chose to reach out and be relational, to connect with some people who have touched me and my life along the way. A couple have written back. They expressed pleasure about the column. Mostly I think they liked being acknowledged for their interests and passions. It is good to be remembered and known and appreciated. I felt gifted and blessed by this simple exchange.
Today may you find ways to connect with others in community, building links of the Spirit and with a song in your hearts.