There’s a woodpecker out there in the wood that lines my backyard. I’ve been hearing him for a week now, in the mornings while I’m sitting with coffee, him working on trees and me working on slowing down and staying in.

I’m sure he’s been there all along, of course. I’ve probably heard him before, too. But not every day and not for a week because the truth is that I’ve been busy and isn’t that the way of the world? Or shouldn’t it be?

Busy. That running around thing, fitting it all in thing, not really slowing down unless it’s a planned slowing down thing. The way the world is. Or was, I guess. And probably will be again.

Busy like that woodpecker out there in the wood. Like those birds that are flitting through the arborvitae, soaking up sunshine even if it’s still in the 20s.

I am most decidedly not busy. Well, maybe I’m busy learning how to slow down and stay in.

And learning that grace is hard-hunted some days. Because really? Where in the world is there grace in this world right now?

I know there is. I mean, I believe that there is. There by all rights ought to be because God is the same yesterday and today and tomorrow and He said it right there in the Word, that He has these plans for me and for you and for us, plans for a future and a hope.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)

And I do know that grace is here.

Only right now it’s sort of hard-hunted.

But then, it might’ve shown itself a bit yesterday while my fellow-stay-at-home people and I pulled out the checkerboard and a few smiles.

It might have slipped quietly into this space I’ve not left for so long when I rosined up the bow and got sort of lost for a couple of hours in Bach’s concerto.

It might have even tapped the shoulder when I texted a friend.

It might even be out there in the wood, that one that lines the back of my yard, tapping a song or a litany or just hunting for something to eat, greeting me every morning.

Hard-hunted, or maybe just harder to notice now, but it’s still true.

Grace is here.


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