Wednesday, November 07, 2007

How Silently the Wondrous Gift is Given

In the dead of winter's white burial, nothing seems more different than the lush of summer's green. On many a winter's dark nights, I have turned back the pages of the photo album in complete astonishment to the days of summer's heat and wondered, "How is it possible that the view out the window can be so utterly different?"

The surprising thing about change is how quietly and unannounced it comes. How is it that the first whispers of autumn come so naturally from the heat of summer and so secretly morph the countryside with a flaming red and orange blaze?

From the moment of our concealed and hidden conception, to the almost secret advance of the seasons, the gift of life and its many joys come silently.

It is with these reflections that I cherish deeply the following words of Philip Brooks' beloved hymn, "How silently, how silently, the wondrous gift is given! So God imparts to human hearts, the blessings of his Heaven!"

And as the gift of God is given in the silence, so it is often in the silence that we realize the blessings of God's heaven.

Today, the world was silent while I sat alone in the car at Clarence's farm, waiting for Rebecca and Bentley to join me after their duties of milking the cows were accomplished. The car blew warm heat on my face while the open window ushered in a cold November wind. The darkness had settled in across the fields and the sky was a perfect midnight blue. All the land was still. After staring for many long minutes into the open landscape, I could find no other response in my heart but gratitude.

How silently are the gifts of Heaven given! How softly they come, how stealthily they capture my heart and how unfortunately long it takes me at times to open them, to treasure them and to delight in them.

Yet in the moments of silence, where I begin to unpackage and open the gifts of Heaven, what wonderment I find in my heart that the boundary lines of my life have fallen in such pleasant places!