Earth's Crammed with Heaven

By Terry Wardle

January 10, 2011

Snow. Every year I seem to have this moment when an ordinary winter day turns into something special. Something magical. Something unexpected. That’s what happened to me today.

I better give some background. It will make more sense to you. In recent weeks I have been frustrated. With God. I know, I shouldn’t be and yes he has blessed me more than I could ever have imagined, given what I know to be true of me. But still, my nose has been out of joint of late with the Lord. You see, it has seemed for weeks now that he has been especially silent. More than silent. He has seemed to be noticeably absence in my prayer time. And, after several weeks of this, I have been unhappy about the whole thing.

So, this morning, after yet another morning of prayer that was less than satisfying, I went out for a walk on the farm. It was cold, and about three inches of snow covered the ground. As I walked across the ground I suddenly noticed that there were tracks everywhere in the snow. Not a few tracks. Many tracks. Deer, rabbits, raccoons, squirrels. Even coyote tracks. I could see in the snow everywhere they had been, passing across our land, and regularly stopping to paw at the ground for leftover apples, corn, and plants.

I was really excited about this, and thoroughly enjoyed seeing the evidence that they had walked across our land. And then it hit me and I started to laugh. I had not seen even one of these animals. Not even a peek. All I had was evidence that they had walked our way and I was thrilled to think that they had been there. My spirit’s were lifted and I couldn’t wait to tell Cheryl.

It was the Lord telling me to look for the signs that he has been there. Here. With me even when I was not particularly aware of his presence. To look for the “tracks” of the Lord. In the word. In circumstances. Conversations. Coincidences and common events.

Suddenly, the words of Elizabeth Barrett Browning came to mind.

Earth’s crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God.
But only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

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Thank you for sharing this! I just read it today, having been away to visit my pregnant daughter! It so very much fits in with what I am currently reading and learning through Nehemiah 9: just like God was involved personally in the lives of the Israelites , he is personally involved in my life, whether I realize it or not! Like you wrote - leaving tracks! I have to go to the places (like outside, in the snow) to see the evidence of it! I also need to be able not just to see the tracks, but to realize the variety of them! As I read Nehemiah 9:16-35 I realize Israel's sin and God's continued mercy, love and faithfulness to them. Surely He moves in my life in the same way! Open the eyes of my heart, Lord!
Angel De Haan at 9:30pm EST - January 23, 2011

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