Much of the following blog was written shortly after the cold snap and significant snowfall we got in February. For some reason, it didn’t present a conclusion that felt quite right. Recently, during prayer, the tracks in the snow were illuminated for me.
After the two snowfalls that carpeted the landscape in brilliant white, it was possible, from my second-floor window, to see who had been visiting our backyard. Besides the hundreds of prints from little birdies’ feet that I saw daily under the feeder, there were other tracks that meandered here and there. Tracks that appeared overnight. One set was from a large dog that checked out the bird feeder. Then there were the manic-looking squirrel tracks that raced back and forth between the apple and mulberry trees which stand about 20 feet apart. I knew where to look for the coyote tracks since I had briefly seen the slender figure slip behind the garage on its way across the south lawn and glide next to the brush line near the road. Similar tracks, although indicating a pair rather than a lone “wolf,” stalked the brush line to the west and then meandered around several trees. And finally, what could have been deer tracks farther out crossed the lane that leads to the snow-covered fields. Other tracks were visible, but unidentifiable from my perch.
These visible clues of often unseen visitors reminded me of the quotation from Hebrews 13:2 — “Do not neglect hospitality, for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels.” Often I will not see or do not recognize the real visitor, a Presence that my own blindness obscures. And often I neglect to see even overt evidence left behind after the visit because I am too busy to pay attention and to be grateful. God is always where I am, waiting for me to see or hear or sense that Divine Presence. I need to slow down, stop and sense Who is standing just beyond the person or the event that has just come into my life, so I can recognize and understand the invitations revealed by something as simple as tracks in the snow.
— Blog entry and photo by Sister Joyce Lehman