I said the words by Strawberry Creek, perched on a fallen cedar in the sunlight. I can still feel the soft, ridged bark under my hands, smell the warm pine needles at my feet. I didn’t understand much, just that there was a God out there who somehow cared about me and this holy moment in the quiet forest.
He met me later, splashing my way up the creek after school, and I realized I’d opened a door somehow, and He had come in. He listened to my childish chatter, and I knew I was heard; showed me gifts of leaf and acorn and blue, blue sky, and I sensed I wasn’t alone anymore.
I didn’t realize that my whole existence would pivot at that moment on the log. That there would now always be “before” and “after”, darkness turning to light, insignificance giving way to beloved. Every moment since – seen.
That day that I chose Jesus, and the thousands of days since when I have chosen Him again, have defined and ordered my life and the way I live it. In the choosing, I find myself chosen. In the finding, I am found. I spoke with Him this morning, as I have in countless mornings past, and He welcomed my voice. I read His words, as I have for decades now, and they comforted me. As the sun rises over the frozen lake, the wonder rises in me, spreading peace as the sunlight spreads color into the gray morning.
I didn’t know, that sunny afternoon by Strawberry Creek, exactly what it all meant. I still don’t, truth be told, but I am learning, in the daily choosing, how one quiet prayer can change everything.