A Whir of Wings

On one Easter Sunday in college, I “gave a testimony,” as we called it, to my campus fellowship. I spoke of how I used to regard prayers as letters, dutifully crafted and sealed by a solemn “Amen” and mysteriously delivered as petitions to the Almighty. At the close of the short piece, I shared that my experience of drawing near to Him had changed those letters to conversations (Heb. 4:16). ⁣
The structure of such testimonies — and I have heard many of them through the years — always followed the same basic template: a “before,” an inciting event, a crisis, a choice, and an “after.” Naturally. ⁣
But, oh — how surprised I have been through the years to keep finding an “after” beyond the “after.” The road into the Kingdom passes through the sheepfold door and keeps going. ⁣
I photographed a dragonfly last summer in the garden, captivated by its delicate shape as it sunned itself on the top of a wooden stake. It allowed me to step closer and closer, until I was about two feet away, and then it flew off so rapidly I could hear the whir of its wings. But I held my breath; it circled the garden twice, as if inspecting me from all angles, and alighted in the exact same spot. Again it paused as I pressed the shutter; again, the exhilarating flight; again, the wondrous return. ⁣
The fact that I could receive such a moment as a gift from my Creator — for so I did — is the result of being shown that His nearness isn’t limited to the moments when I enter His courts. In the press of situations that would have undone me entirely unless something reached out to catch my falling strength, I have watched Him draw near through Scripture, through people… through dragonflies. ⁣
Unprompted. Unasked.⁣
Thus my witness to this Love is built upon the active witness of a thousand moments that would run my old testimony structure right off the page. Even in this one needful life He has done so many things that, “were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written” (John 21:25). Yet even so, my Lord, for the sake of Your name, grant me the eyes to see them.