Praying Through the Mist

This morning a goose landed in our backyard as a lone seeker of refuge.  As the fog settled around him I watched him wander aimlessly behind the dogwood bushes bordering the area designated as the “prospective pond. “ Perhaps he tried to navigate towards the small wetland abode that lies just beyond the cul-de-sac, but unfortunately was thrown off course by the obscuring ground cover.

As I watch, he stops momentarily, allowing the fog to enclose his feet; his feathers ruffle slightly as if he is trying to identify the swirling mist.  He’s listening, allowing the hazy dampness to encircle him.  He waits, perhaps searching for a sense of an uplifting current that would help him arise and be airborne amidst the clouds.

The grayness above merges with the paler layers lurking on the ground.  I try to wipe the window to see the goose more clearly, only smearing a smudge on the glass, not clearing my vision.  When I look again, he’s gone.  Hopefully he discovered a way to rise up and find guidance for his flight.  Maybe he realized he had landed too soon to a place promising a welcome habitat.  Maybe the dampness encouraged him to seek an airstream that would lift him to a higher vantage point.

Following his brief visit I open the book on prayer I am currently reading, The Only Necessary Thing by Henri J. M. Nouwen.  He states, “The discipline of the heart…makes us aware that praying is not only listening to but also listening with.  We stand in the presence of God… with all we have and are: our fears and anxieties, our guilt and shame…our joys, hopes, dreams…in short, all that makes us who we are.  With all this we have to listen to God’s voice and allow God to speak to us in every corner of our being. “

Sometimes when I pray I feel like I have landed in a patch of swirling fog, admitting my mistakes, but still hoping to find the promises I am seeking.  I’m trying to acknowledge the greatness of all God does, while still justifying my prayer requests.  Sometimes I come wanting future plans to be revealed within my timeline, reluctant to wait for God’s designs.

Lord let me be more like a goose grounded in the murkiness of a morning fog, awaiting the right timing to take flight again.  Let me listen to you with all I am. Help me to reposition myself so that I am ready to hear and to find the place where you want me to be.  Lord let me listen like a goose ruffling its feathers sensing the uplift of a low-lying cloud’s hidden current.  Lord may your spirit flow to every corner of my being as I trust in your guidance and love.

I begin to pray, letting myself settle into the presence of God, knowing that He will be with me as I rise through the mist.

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