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Thin Places in Broad Daylight

We all have a choice to make in life, before death. 

There it was, standing completely still in the dry Northern California grass. A Great Blue Heron.

As you can see, I am not making this up…or am I?

The story came alive as the Heron looked at me as I tried to be sneaky enough to get a clear picture of the creature. He — or she — seemed to be focused on something in the grass. And, at that moment on a sunny Saturday morning, that would be perfectly normal for a Great Blue Heron to be doing. They hunt mice and frogs and such and are extremely good at spearing their prey with their prodigious, long, functional, and utilitarian beaks.

But something wasn’t right…

Instead of emerging from the deadly still stance and striking like a rattlesnake to claim its breakfast, the Heron slowly bent down and very, very carefully picked up something that shone. A quick flash of silver caught my eye as the Heron lifted whatever it had found and turned to look directly at me. It stared directly into my eyes with one eye on the left side of its head (It’s hard for a Heron with such a narrow head to keep both eyes on someone.) At least if you are trying to get the message across that you are being watched. It was as if the Heron was saying, “I see you over there, half hidden behind that small oak tree.”

At exactly that moment, the Heron threw the silvery object into the air and caught it with its beak; it looked as if it had swallowed whatever it had found.

I then realized that Heron wasn’t alone. Straddling the long, slender neck of the Heron sat a tiny man sitting on an equally tiny saddle. It looked as though the saddle was purely to enable the tiny man to ride with the Heron, rather than control its flight, as there were no reins attached to the Heron’s head or beak. He was dressed in buckskins — complete with fancy fringes — and was wearing an Australian Slouch hat with a blue jay feather sticking out of the band. He had a long, well manicured, and waxed handlebar mustache and was also looking at me. But, he was smiling a great big happy smile as if, at any moment, he would jump down off of the Heron and walk over to have a long Saturday morning chat.

That was when the Heron spread its wings and launched itself and the tiny man into the air. It was amazing how something that looks completely ungainly on land can transform into the most graceful creature in the air. And, as it took its first few steps to flight, I saw the Heron quickly throw its head back, and the silvery object flew from its beak and twirling and sparkling in a quick little loop-de-loop landed in the Tiny man’s Slouch hat.

Quickly, the man hefted the object—which at this point looked like a ring—and placed it into a saddle bag that was doubling as stirrups for the saddle. Then he stood up on the back of the Heron, balanced himself on one foot, and tipped his hat at me as if to say Auf Wiedersehen!

I must admit I was standing in the middle of the bike path at this point, wondering about my sanity, when I noticed that the Heron and its passenger were not leaving the area. They were slowly circling about thirty feet over my head. And, now, I could see that the tiny man was looking down at me with what was now very obviously a ring, and he said, “You have been given a choice. Well, actually a few choices depending on how you choose on the first choice. (It was at this point that I could have sworn I heard the Heron say, “Get on with it, Jimmy. Do you think it’s easy to float around at this elevation forever?”)

I had to shield my eyes every time the Heron and…Jimmy…came around into the sun, but I didn’t need to see very well to wake up and shout up at the pair, finally. “What Choice?”

Then Jimmy dropped the ring and yelled, “Catch it!!”

So I reached out and grabbed the ring, and it fell perfectly into my hands.

Jimmy leaned over the Heron’s neck like a jockey urging his steed on in a race, and he pointed at me and said, “In every story, there are choices to be made. That is the One Ring that controls them all. At least, that is all you need to know about it. Your choice is simple. The Creator of all things — and there are a multitude of things you have no idea about — is giving you a choice. The choice is the ring that represents the blessings available in this life, versus the Presence of your Creator. This is similar to Solomon’s choice of wisdom over wealth. But this is a choice your heart has to make.”

Jimmy leaned over to the other side of the Heron…who had decided to circle back the way it was going in the first place…and continued, “You will notice the writing on the ring. There is Kingdom power in that ring, which is written in the ancient language of the Kingdom of Heaven. But the language will change the moment you make your decision. Your choice will establish your destiny.”

The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again and then, in his joy, went and sold all he had and bought that field. Matthew 13:44 NIV

“In this case, my friend,” Jimmy shouted as the Heron decided it was time to leave. “It’s not this field that is the choice. That choice is to choose between the world and the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.”

Choose wisely…

I held onto the ring tightly for fear of all of this not being real. But I watched as Jimmy did a perfect back flip with a twist and landed in his saddle, facing backward. He took off his slouch hat and waved goodbye.

 


Salvation – Eternal Life in Less Than 150 Words

Please Read/Respond to Comments – on Medium

AuthorDerek Hastings | BCWorldview.org 

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