The Power of Tangible Things

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One day several months ago, I was looking around one of my favorite website shops and I saw this USB powered owl: 


(Image courtesy of getdigital.de)

The little owl, no bigger than three inches high, will move his head, open and close his eyes, and flap his wings intermittently.  He has no significant reason for existence other than entertainment, and the ever important cute factor.  Seeing this owl made me think of Psalm 102, where the psalmist says:

“I am like an owl of the wilderness, like a little owl of the waste places.  I lie awake; I am like a lonely bird on the housetop” (Psalm 102:6-7 NRS).

The psalm is about the enduring presence and power of God.  It says that those who call upon the Lord will be answered, their children will have security and be established on the Earth (102:28).  Despite my often “eternal ray of sunshine” appearance, there are many times when I feel those words of the psalmist could come from my own mouth.  Times when I feel like I am left to dwell in my solitude and wallow in my misery.  Occasions when no one seems to understand, when no one can possibly fathom the chaos within me.  Then I look up at that little owl on top of my computer, and I remember that there is one who understands, who knows, and who can make a difference in my life, in yours.  The eternal God, Lord of all, who bathes me in his presence and showers me with the cleansing power of his Grace.  The God who was not content to be far from me, but who came to Earth and died that I would have salvation from my own sinfulness.  The same God who comes to me now in the Holy Spirit, that divine indwelling that moves my heart and mind, and animates me to do the works of Jesus Christ. 

When I see that little owl moving in blissful programmed existence, I remember that I am also called to exist blissful for all these blessings and more in God.  Funny how a little USB owl can be such a powerful reminder of so many vital aspects of my spiritual life.  I’m so very glad he is.

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