Thursday, January 27, 2011

Unexpected Majesty

    I had taken the way home that took me down a winding tree-lined street with lush undergrowth. The roads were clear but the evening's white wet snow had turned everything into a winter wonderland, coating branches and turning grasses and shrubs into works of art. What had been brown and winter weary the day before had suddenly been transformed into something pure and clean. I knew in two days time it would be different, but I wanted to take the winding way so that I could savor the beauty before me, a gift I have begun to give myself as I have aged.
   I had slowed down to look at the woodlands when I caught a flash of movement out of the corner of my eye. There sitting next to a snow-covered fallen log was a large red-tailed fox. He had begun to preen himself and the flick of his tail had been just enough to draw my eye to him. I slowed my car and ever so slowly rolled down the window. For some strange reason, I wanted us to be breathing the same air. Man and creature. Both fashioned by the same Creator. He raised his head and looked at me. I was not but two car lengths away. Deep golden amber eyes ringed by slightly darker fur. It took my breath away. His tawny red coat had glints of brown, cream, and gold. If not for the snow, I would never have been able to distinguish him from the woods. God had given him a coat of fur, that despite its beauty, allowed him to blend perfectly into his surroundings.
   We sat there eyeing each other for what seemed like the longest time. I broke the spell when I reached for my phone. I wanted a picture. Some proof of what I had seen. It felt like such an amazing gift and one that I wanted to share. The movement of my hand creeping across the seat was enough. He looked me fully in the eye, stood up, flicked his tail, and trotted slowly up the wooded hill, picking his way effortlessly over the underbrush.
     I wanted to cry. My heart was aching with the wonder of it all. I have seen foxes before, but never one so close, so large, or so beautiful. I have also never seen one in repose. I could not help but be drawn to the majesty of a Creator who crowned his creation with such complexity, variety and beauty. You alone, Oh Lord, are worthy of praise. How majestic is your name in all the earth. 

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