The Raven

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As for me, time spent in nature means time spent connecting and communicating with our Creator God.  And ravens speak to me.  Not literally, of course (lest you think I’ve lost my mind altogether).  And not in some dark, macabre way, as some would imagine.  But in a coruscating light-filled visionary way, I suppose.

Sauntering through a shop in the historic district of Old Quebec, a glistening black-winged raven catches my eye. Ravens—independent flight takers of wilderness heights. I admire it.  Perhaps even envy it.

“Do you like ravens?”  The young Inuit shop keeper takes me off guard.

Words spill out, bubbling over, in an attempt to put language to thoughts never voiced.  He translates for me, “Oh, it’s your totem”.

Oh, no.  Not sure I should go there.  But the raven speaks, and I make a decision to choose connection without judgment and say, “Why, yes.  It’s my totem”.

And in that sacred moment, together we move, my First Nations brother and I, to a higher spiritual plane.  Choosing connection at his heart level and communication through his heart language, I become a trail sister on life’s journey towards closer communion (common union) with our common Father.

Nature is the common language in which God is revealed.  Nature is not God, but nature testifies to God.  It speaks a common heart language to all mankind.  And I listen … in any way He chooses to speak.

Ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you. Which of these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.”  Job 12:7-10


Lessons from a Montana Rancher


“Jon is a character”, I announce to Diane, his wife of 50 plus years.  She looks up at me with a smile.

“Yes, Jon is witty.  A witty character.”  As if I, a pre-friend of a mere two days, must inform her of this news.

Wispy white hair and clear blue eyes that seem to have a life of their own.  Eyes dancing side to side with each passing thought.  To the left—creative and witty.  To the right—practical and reasonable.  Left.  Right.  Right.  Left.  The heart of the witty drummer beating out thoughts through lucent pool-eyes.

But, isn’t that how it is for all of us?  Heart beating out the thoughts within and with every beat, we live and breathe and move to the cadence of those heart-thoughts? 

Divergent thoughts—left, right.  Right, left.  Creative and witty, faith-filled thoughts; imagination takes flight and then… WAIT, WHAT IF?  And the spirit descends to earthly realms and the heart beat slows to a stop.

Is it possible to live life in the realm of now-faith without the restrictions of our old-man fences of human reasoning? 

Jon repairs the old fence and installs new for the cattle to be delivered this week.  Solar powered electric fencing meant to protect his livestock from wandering down the bank and into the river below.  Protection through sun-powered fencing—has me thinking.

Why do I set up my own fences of human reasoning that keep me from following the one who designed the heart beat within me in the first place?  Can I trust Him, my Son-powered line of protection from falling…from drowning…from failing?

The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places, the psalmist delights.  So, why not trust those pleasant boundaries that are above and beyond what we can even ask or imagine?

Choosing to keep step with the God-designed heartbeat within—moving beyond human reasoning into the realm of creativity, wittiness and faith, expressing more and more of the Abundant Life right where you are.

God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us (Ephesians 3:20-21 MSG)