Gazing and Reflecting: A Holy Moment


I was captivated by this figure from the first moment I saw it and was honored that my wife’s grandfather wanted me to have it. It’s a simple piece; beautifully carved in Mexico that, by some divine providence, has made it’s way to my study; where it now sits (actually, it’s kneeling). The figure is seemingly bowing it’s head in prayer as it meditates on scripture; showing me a faithful engagement with God through his holy Word.

The figure’s face is determined, peaceful and focused as it holds the Word of God. I Imagine him reflecting on a passage he just read and listening; listening intently for the voice of God, hence the determined face. He’s at peace because not only is he cradling the Bible but he feels cradled by the promises of God that he is reflecting on, hence the peaceful face. He also seems to be in his own little world as he meditates on God’s Word; not drawn away by the lure of cultural forces, hence the focused face.

I gaze at this figure and notice the cross dangling at his knees. For him it is not just some piece of jewelry or something to adorn his outfit. The cross is something that brings him great joy and hope (as it does me), thus the attitude of worship that I also see emanating from his face.

I gaze at this figure and I almost feel guilty; like I am invading his privacy as he worships. Sounds weird and goofy and maybe a little disturbing, but as I am gazing I notice something else. I notice that I am being drawn into worship as I reflect on him reflecting and on whom he is reflecting. I find myself drawn to enter a time of prayer; engaging God through scripture; and I like this. For there is much the world wants me to embrace as truth but I refuse to embrace that truth. For me, THE Truth is God almighty through Jesus Christ my Lord. And that Truth is found in God’s most holy and inerrant Word.

I gaze at this figure and see a person; loved by God and loving his God. I see a person who would readily acknowledge that he is a redeemed sinner. I see a person who devotion to God is not only in his moments on his knees but in every moment of his life. And I like what I see.

I gaze at this figure and see a beautifully crafted piece of wood but I also see a God who loves me beyond anything this world is able or willing to do. Weird, goofy, disturbing; call it what you may, but for me, I will gaze and listen and pray and listen and worship and listen and read and listen and remember and listen and…

Holy God, I am thankful for the many ways You speak to me and proclaim Your amazing love to me. You do so through Your most holy Word. You do so through people in my life. You do so through “usual” means which just shows You are not limited by anything or anyone. Thank you, Father, for the right to be called a child of Yours, through Jesus Christ my Lord, Amen.

As you gaze at that figure, what do YOU notice?

The Pastor -|—

Morning devotions ~ Be still

This pastor so needed the devotion from yesterday; to be still and know that God is God. To be still and listen to the voice of God. To be still and be at peace. I so needed that, but that is not what happened.


My little girl woke up this morning at 5:30 a.m. crying,

“I want my daddy! I want my daddy!”

Tired, and a little cranky that I was getting up earlier than planned, I acquiesced to my little girl’s cry. We rocked for a while and then I laid her back down when she seemed to be sleeping, but immediately she started crying for me again. I returned to her room and sat in the rocking chair next to her crib. I then reached my hand through the crib and caressed her head; and she calmed down. Whenever I tried to leave she would cry. Eventually I fell asleep in the rocking chair…

[I’m not sure why she wanted this snoring beast next to her]

…and woke up just after 8 a.m. (I had a 9 a.m.baptism meeting). This was not how my morning was supposed to start. I bolted out of her room: showered, made coffee, ate (all the while my little girl is screaming for me) and got dressed. My wife woke up and help her but she still wanted daddy.

Be still and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:10)

All I wanted was to be still and know that God is God.
All I wanted was time alone with God before I started my day.
All I wanted was to hear God’s voice.
All I wanted was some encouragement as I prepared to finish two sermons today.
All I wanted was God.

And God did acquiesce to my request. God gave me a beautiful moment this morning and all I could think about was that it wasn’t what I planned. As a pastor friend of mine told me yesterday in a blog post comment,

“God made the time and gave it to you”

God definitely made the time for me this morning but I missed it.
Oh God, please forgive me for being so selfish and short-sighted.

Definitely carve out moments to get away and enjoy the fact that God is God, but don’t miss the moments that God carves out for you. Don’t be so short-sighted and selfish like I was this morning but rather…

Be still and know that God is God.

…and then actually pay attention and listen.

Holy Father, thank you for the holy moments that you create. May I have the eyes of faith to see them.

Praise be to God and Amen.

The Pastor -|—