Community Encounters Lent

redbirdencounterA few weeks ago Rev. Shanna gave us a Sunday worship message that emphasized the importance of being awake, alert and aware of our surroundings. One day during the week following that Sunday I was on a walk that took me to the Missouri Conservation Commission’s Discovery Center.

For those unfamiliar with the Discovery Center, it has a building with wildlife literature and many displays. Outdoors there are several areas to explore, e.g. butterfly garden, native plantings, prairie, wild flowers, shrubs, small trees, large trees, etc. And there are walking trails throughout.

I was on a walking trail and started to think about Shanna’s message, I stopped, looked up into a large oak tree. About 10-12 feet above my head was the most beautiful, bright red, bird I have ever seen – a Summer Tanager. Another walker was coming my direction and I tried to get her attention but she kept her head down and passed on by. I was hesitant to call out to her because I didn’t want to frighten the bird. It was a moment not to miss – a wondrous encounter, indeed.

— Bob Clark

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