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Things I Notice

October 31, 2006

My daughter told me that her cousin’s dog had eaten the New Testament. I watched her face and observed her eyes and knew she saw the funny side of it as I did and we laughed together.

The buzzard turned lazily, languidly, then fell to earth close to a gathering of wheel-shaped hay bales, before turning up at the last moment disappearing over a hedge.

I lay on his bed, side by side with my young son, his head nestled in the angle between my shoulder and my ear. My thumb stroked his hand as he drifted towards sleep. And I saw that one day, in my later years, the scene could be reversed, and he would stroke the thin skin of my old man’s hand as he nurses me to a more profound sleep.

It was late afternoon. The sun was setting directly to the left of me, casting a long, prone shadow of forty feet or more over a ploughed field. It promptly sprang to attention at the sudden appearance of a hedge.

We sat together, a brown ring inside the cup indicating my coffee was almost done and we talked long and deeply of the collected wisdom of a city florist of his acquaintance.

My wife phoned me, and spoke excitedly of how she wanted me to be the first call with her new phone. I smiled affectionately.

A friend walks around the corner who ordinarily shouldn’t be here. I stop him with a hand on his shoulder, we talk and smile, then linger over coffee and conversation till time beat us.

These are the things I have noticed this week.

And it struck me that there is sufficient in each day to sustain a person if she or he has eyes to see.

In the first chapter of the book of Genesis, as God moved through his work, the one thing we can be absolutely sure of is that as each period passed God noticed it. There was time to pay attention. To remark on how good it was.

Later, on a journey through the desert God fed his people with miraculous food called manna. It required faith to gather it each day and to believe there was enough. Enough to sustain them that day, and to gather it afresh the next, not horded or stored.

Today, TIME is our manna. Given in quantities that are enough for the day. And tomorrow it will be given again, fresh. Time in which we have the opportunity to notice and pay attention. To believe that even in the midst of apparent barrenness there is sufficient.

[BBC Radio Ulster Thought for the Day on Friday, 27 October,2006]

From → Reflection

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