Beside Still Waters
When land animals are in danger, or sick, they often head for still water, a pond or creek. When fire raged through our canyon a few years ago, the deer and mice and everything in between headed down to the safe wet creek. When wounded, animals also seek safety and comfort in a quiet wet place. Animal bones, even prehistoric ones, are often found along the shore of a lake.
Why? Safety and healing. For safety, they submerge during a fire. If sick or lame, they hide in riparian bushes away from predators. For healing, they use the mud to soothe a wound. The water can quench the painful thirst of illness. The shoreline undergrowth offers precious time in a shelter to heal.
When I was ten I found in our woods in western New Jersey a big jumble of loose bones in a small wet swampy pool. I gathered them up in my jacket, convinced I had found a dinosaur, and proudly brought them home. My mother gently and calmly broke it to me that it was a deer skeleton, and she got right down on the ground to help me identify pelvis, skull, vertebrae, ribs, all soaked and muddy. Six years later in high school biology I strung together all those bones with tennis racket string for a complete skeleton.
My deer had died near water. She taught me about bones, and about life and death.
In this strange isolation time we all long for safety and healing, for still water. A safe place to quench thirst, to rest and heal. I watch for and I walk with the One who “leads me beside still waters,” to a place that “restores my soul.” In life and death, may we all find such a safe, healing, thirst-quenching place.
In January and February I wrote here and on Facebook about still water, living water and deep water – go back and look! Every Wednesday I write a “wet” devotional about how we find God in fresh and salt water, and how God calls us to restore and preserve the wet parts of our planet. Stay wet and still, my friends.