So I’m in the home stretch, stretching for home. Since I was sixteen, I’ve been told I should write a book by many people in many places. Not that I’ve finished, but I’ve begun—what I don’t know—and I’m about to complete my first goal given by my soon-to-be-mentor for a week in Alaska. I can feel excitement in the pit of my stomach because God has been leading, of this I have no doubt. He has been leading my steps, all the days of my life, all the way to where I am right now. Even in my missteps, He has taught me mercifully, and redirected me lovingly. How good God is!
This week, the home stretch week, there has been a new bird out by our farm’s front porch. A homing pigeon. She is banded green on her right leg and numbered. 406. Beautiful, she is, with a touch of iridescent greenish purplish feathering among her dove grays. She has been cooing, wooing me to watch her. Nestled under my front perennials, she feeds on black oil sunflower seeds I supply for all my avian friends. And though Rose, the great yellow hunting lab, roams free, the homing pigeon has stayed.
Why? Why this week? What do you have to say to me, my charming winged visitor?
How I love my God who speaks to me tenderly right where I am, in all I see, in all I do, in all that just seems to happen. There is no such thing as coincidence. I say this daily and believe. There is no such thing as coincidence because nothing happens apart from the hand of God—nothing. All good, all bad—all is turned good when sifted through the hand of God. He breaks up and refines. God has been doing His holy work in my soul—of breaking up and refining, of planting and nurturing and reaping, all the days of my life from the moment He knit me together in my mother’s womb. Of this, I am sure.
This week, He’s reminding me of home, my real home. Homing pigeons are specially designed with large amounts of iron particles on top of their beaks which remain aligned to the north pole, magnetized. They always know where they are and where they’re going. Do I? Do I get lost in the chaos of daily life and lose my bearings, fretting, wondering what went wrong? Yes. Too often. Do I stop and reorient myself to my built-in spiritual compass, aligning myself with my God and His ways? No. Not often enough. Oh, to be like this homing pigeon!
But maybe, just maybe, the homing pigeon is at home wherever she is, even when her ultimate destination is another place. Maybe there’s something to learn here, from this bird!
Everywhere I look, I see God. Everywhere I am, He is. Everywhere I’m going, He already knows. I eagerly, passionately, humbly ask Him to lead me on—wherever He wants—for I have learned nothing more important in my life turning 54 in three days that GOD IS ALL I WANT AND NEED, really. Seeking Him—the gorgeousness of God—there is no greater thing. And when I am in the middle of His Spirit current, I am in a sublime state, floating and being moved by the splendor of His majesty.
Where you lead, I will follow . . .
Anywhere that you tell me to . . .
If you need, you need me to be with you . . .
I will follow, where you lead.
So sang Carly Simon in the 70’s and I sang along as a song of worship to the Lord I had just begun to know back then. And I still sing now . . .
Lead me on, Lord! I want to be with you, wherever you lead! There is no greater thing!
And my God speaks truth and comfort to my soul . . .
Taste and see that I, your God, am good! Let My current take you! There’s no more thrilling flight! And though the current will lead you through turbulent times, fear not! For I am with you! My rod and My staff, they will comfort you. For I am your great Shepherd, the One and Only you can trust, always. Because My love never fails. Never. No matter the appearance, no matter the circumstance, no matter what others say or do or feel, My love never fails. Never. Ever.
I am satisfied.
No matter if I end in Wisconsin or I end in Alaska or I end somewhere further still, God is with me and He’s all that matters. And endings are only beginnings with God. No matter if I write a book or an essay or a blog or if He decides to flow through this vessel some other way by removing writing from me altogether, it doesn’t matter. Because all that really matters is being in, staying in, the presence, the current of Almighty God. In Him, I am complete, lacking no good thing. I want for nothing.
Can you hear the freedom in that? Can you feel the peace in that?
His presence—the majesty and awe and beauty of His presence—the One who made the heavens and the earth and all that is within them—the One who made everything beautiful and thought of every tiny and magnificent detail—the One who holds the universe together in the palm of His hand. Oh yes, I am captivated. And I’d much rather be a captivated soul than a captive soul. I’d much rather be free in love than bound in fear.
However many days I have left here on Earth, I want to be filled with the knowledge of the Holy. I want to bask in His perfection and have eyes and ears and taste and touch and smell to take Him in as much as an earthly-ground, heavenly-bound soul is able. Lord, give me this grace! Give me this freedom! Give me this peace!
I am praying for the twelve besides me who will be living and seeking God together for a week on a wild “island of grace”, as Leslie Leyland Fields has called her family’s summer fishing camp off the coast of Alaska. She has survived such a place. And she’s thriving because, wherever she is, He is. And by His hand, He is leading others there now. Vessels, we are. For what, we do not yet know, except for Him. And, as for me, it doesn’t matter. Because I’m free.
I feel it right now, at least for now, though this fickle heart too often loses her bearings. Right now, in this moment, I’m free of caring about the how, the what, the when, the where, and the why of God’s will. My one and only care is my One and Only God. I do know that all falls perfectly into place when He is in His place, His rightful place, in my heart. First and foremost, may He always be, by His grace, in my heart, which He made to be His home. And may I always know, by His grace, that my heart is most at home when with Him. Oh help me God, remember this! Oh help me God, LIVE this!
Now, about that homing pigeon? She’s still here. Of all weeks. She’s still here. The week I send off a manuscript—my first ever—on the day I turn 54, on the second day of August. Is she going home? Where is home? Does she like it here? Will she stay? Will she leave? Will she fly off to distant place? Will she return? Does it matter? What matters is that wherever she is, she is already home. Because wherever she is, God is, and God makes all places home, when we are at home with Him.
One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. Psalm 27:4-6
Praise you LORD! Praise you!
Want to be completely blessed? Read “Surviving the Island of Grace” by Leslie Leyland Fields, available on Amazon. A gripping memoir of rugged life on the island I’ll live for but seven days, soon to come. Looking forward to meeting this special sister in Christ! http://www.amazon.com/Surviving-Island-Grace-Life-America/dp/0980082595/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1375217058&sr=1-2&keywords=surviving+the+island+of+grace+a+memoir+of+alaska
Image of homing pigeon courtesy of: