Wait: Inner Wilderness

…and the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.

I was intrigued on Sunday when our Rector pointed out in her sermon the vague-yet-compelling image of Jesus being in the wilderness with the wild beasts. We don’t really have a clear picture of what the writer meant by those words. But, these words did make me pause and consider just what Jesus may have learned…and what we might learn…if we waited with the wild beasts.

As I was meditating on this thought and putting together this week’s reflections, I came across this poem by Wendell Berry:

The peace of wild things
by Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

(You can also listen to the poem here or at http://www.onbeing.org/program/ellen-davis-and-wendell-berry-the-poetry-of-creatures/extra/the-peace-of-wild-things-by)


Wait with these images today. What are the voices of the wild that speak to your soul? There can be a grace in mountains, seagulls, majestic wildlife. I have felt the nearness of the Holy Spirit watching a Great Blue Heron on a shoreline. I have caught glimpses of God in an owl; spotted the blessing of deer in unexpected places; felt awe watching the ease and grace of creatures great and small moving through their wild worlds. I have bonded with my daughter “urban wildlife spotting” raccoons together, watching their curious and hungry rummaging through trash cans at the edge of a McDonald’s parking lot. We may find the same peace and grace in living side-by-side with the “wild creatures” of our own lives, including the creatures great and small that are part of our lives and our families.  There is a part of my own wildness that falls into step with the rhythms of wildlife of all kinds, when I allow myself to wait openly in that space. “I rest in the grace of the world and am free.”

Wait with the wildness that surrounds you today. May you find grace, freedom, and peace as you rest with the wild things around you.

Here are a few images of our favorite “wild” things (email your favorite photos to sprice@stthomasrichmond.org and I will add to our photo gallery here as well).

“Wild Beast” photo credits: Marina Smith, Sarah Price, Vera Meier, Rick McNeil, Susan Buchanan

owl wink








2 thoughts on “Wait: Inner Wilderness

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