Holding Still

It was a God-given moment. I had decided to brave the cold and take care of an outdoor chore so Don wouldn’t have to do it at the end of a long workday. As I stepped out on our back porch steps, a surprise awaited me. A beautiful bird perched on our nearby evergreen.

I expected him to whoosh away as soon as he caught sight of me or heard the cat-like squall of the screen door. But he stayed, holding still, allowing me to marvel in his beauty from just a few feet away.

As he continued to linger, I thought wow, I wish I had my camera. Would he stay long enough for me to go back in the house and get it? Would he be there when I returned? Would he hold still just awhile longer?

I took a chance and slid back inside, as carefully as my noisy door would allow. After grabbing my always close-at-hand camera, I turned it on while still inside so there would be one less noise to startle my little outdoor visitor away.

In spite of another screech from the door, the bird remained perched in the same spot. I raised my camera, zoomed in, and took several shots while he continued to hold still. He looked this way and that, almost as if allowing me to work a little more magic with my camera. He eventually flitted away but not before I was thoroughly blessed by this unexpected God-given treat for the soul.

For a few brief moments, I was an artist capturing a subject—a subject who was willing to hold still and let me do my work. I can’t help but wonder if I do the same for God.

When God wants to do some more work on me or just spend time with me and rejoice over His creation (yes, He wants to rejoice over me!), am I a willing subject? Do I hold still for Him and cooperate with His plans? Do I allow Him to work His magic?

May the Lover of our souls always find us willing to hold still for Him!

“‘The LORD your God is with you . . . He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.’” Zephaniah 3:17

*Can any of you bird lovers tell me what kind of bird (pictured above) paid me a visit?

*The current issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, came out today. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is free and to the right!

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  1. What a beautiful shot. I wish I could help you to identify this bird, but I am afraid I have no idea. I can identify our red cardinals here in Kentucky, but that is the extent of my bird identification skills.

    I think your post on holding still is very apt for all us. We all need to hold still, to listen and observe the world around us and God’s teaching through nature. Perhaps then the world would feel a little less stressed.

  2. Great photo, Mom!

  3. It’s a Northern Mockingbird.Good analogy, Cheryl. I notice he was quiet too not jabbering on and on like mockingbirds and people are prone to do.

  4. Powerful picture; powerful words. Love it when that happens. You do it so well, Cheryl.


  5. So glad you all are enjoying the photo and the post! Each one of you are a blessing to me.

    Elece, thanks for identifying the bird. I would never have guessed a mockingbird. Your observation about him being quiet instead of jabbering adds a neat new dimension to the analogy. Thanks!

  6. Cheryl, my first response to your post this a.m. was “Great photo – I wonder if Cheryl took it?”

    Then, I read it. 8-) You can find analogies to God’s work in anything and everything. That is one of his gifts to you, and then you share with us.

    Thank you!

  7. Jana, thanks so much for the sweet message of encouragement!

  8. Cheryl I just saw this post and photo. Somehow I missed it earlier. Love the photo and story.

  9. Thanks, Debbie. I was thrilled to get some great shots of this little visitor :)

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