It was dark this morning when I started my walk. Cold, too, thanks to the clear sky. Venus, the brightest object in the morning sky at that point, glowed in the east. The planet accompanied me as I walked alone down the path.

As I walked through the tunnel of trees, I met my morning surprise. It dawned on me that in a few weeks, when the leaves pop out again, there would not be much chance of seeing anything noteworthy through the thick canopy. Yet, this morning, peeking around naked branches, Venus and I played our game of hide-and-seek, coaxing grins from me as I trudged on.  But, that wasn’t the surprise.

So there I was walking deep in my thoughts, deep in my prayers, alone, in the dark, surrounded by silence except for my mumbled prayers. Then, under the canopy of trees, nothing. 

Everything stopped. No praying. No more steps. Silent and frozen in place, I turned and looked to the east, speechless.

I don’t believe things happen by chance. I believe that even in ordinary everyday happenings there’s a plan, a purpose, a design by God. At times we can say, “Ah, that was a God thing.” Other times we’re left scratching our heads wondering.

This morning as I gazed at the rising waning crescent moon, I gasped. The moon’s beauty caught me by surprise. I was speechless. The slim, orange, lunar slice appeared huge on the horizon.  Balancing on one tip, the crescent was perfectly framed by the trees. I was in awe. I was at the right place at the right time to experience a remarkable celestial event.

Things happen for a purpose.  It was this unexpected, surprising bit of God’s handiwork this morning that reminded me that I don’t walk alone. He is always with me. Surely, today’s gift of unexpected delight.

“The heavens declare the glory of God.” Psalm 19:1


The following picture, taken with my phone, in limited light, with cold shaky hands doesn’t do justice to what I experienced. I thought I’d include it anyway.

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