Beauty in the Desert

By Paul McCain of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA

…let them seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer.  1 Peter 3:11–12

It was a hot, dry, windy spring day in Oklahoma, and two of my granddaughters and I made the 45-minute trip to Norman for the Medieval Fair. We had to walk a long way from where we parked to the fair entrance. We then walked around for hours in the blowing dust, detouring through shady spots when we could.

At the fair we saw something that, for me, made it all worthwhile. There is an organization that rescues birds of prey. It helps the birds get ready to reenter the world they are born for. The trainers explained many interesting facts, but the best part was when they let the birds demonstrate their flying abilities.

It’s not often one gets to see a hawk, falcon, or owl fly just inches above your head, going from one trainer to another.

My mind went to all the people in world who need rescuing—people who are injured, or in some way struggling. Like the trainer-spokesman at the fair, who dreamed as a youth of being able to experience nature more fully, I, too, want to be more involved in the rescue process.

I want to share the story of how vulnerable we are and often need to be rescued. I want to share the One who authors rescue plans. God’s ears are open to the prayers of those in need.

May we all be open to the needs of those around us and be willing to join in the rescue of souls, whatever circumstances they are in.

Prayer for Peace:

See our tears, merciful God, hear us when we cry. We need your divine guidance for our lives. Be with us as we seek your peace.

Spiritual Practice for the Week: Honoring the Worth of All Persons

Each day this week read Psalm 139:13–18. After each reading sit quietly and let the deep meaning of the words sink into your mind, heart, and body. Imagine God watching you grow in your mother’s womb. What thoughts and feelings do you have about being “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14a)?

Sense the intimate knowledge God has of you and every child ever born. Ask God for an awareness of the sacred worth of each person on the planet. Weep with God over the soul-wounding forces and events that rob people of dignity and worth. How are you being invited to notice, protect, heal, and affirm the spiritual identity of all God’s beloved people today? Pray for God’s compassion.

Peace Covenant:

As you have rescued me through Christ, God, I will open myself to the needs of another.

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