Flickr photo by mikebaird, creative commons
Tanner barked at his leash, begging for a walk. We all needed the exercise and Sam was willing, but did we really have to go outside? It was10:30 AM and already 92 degrees. "Only if we go to the river," I said. The thick canopy of trees and the gurgling of water would make it bearable.
As we walked the shady path, I thought of my French friend Corinne. Before she moved back to Paris, we'd take our dogs down to the river once a week, and Tanner still looks for Valentin every time we pass her house. I laughed to myself to think of our search for the Big Bird. What was the French word for heron? When I described it, she said it sounded like a dinosaur. "Oh, believe me, it's real," I said. "I've seen them plenty of times down here." But with the noise of the dogs and our busy conversation, we never saw a single one together.
In the year since her move, I'd spied a heron only once, and that had been several months ago. Had they left our river?
Tanner was ecstatic to sniff the path, yanking Sam from one side to the other as we tried to talk.
I wanted to hear what Sam thought about my blogging topic for today: Serendipity, the phenomenon of discovering completely surprising while searching for something else. Like when Christopher Columbus was looking for India and ended up discovering the Americas. Or when Todd and his Mom were taking a walk through our neighborhood and got to talking about his childhood friend, Luke Smith. Whatever happened to him? And then the very next day, Todd took another walk, and who should step out of his house a mere half mile from our home? Luke Smith! I wanted to know what Sam thought. Was it God? Or just a wild coincidence?
The walk was fun, but finally the heat was too much and we headed back.
"Wait," Sam said before we left the river. He took the stick he'd been carrying around and threw it high. It made a great splash. "Look Mama!" he said.
I turned to look at the water and gasped. There was a great blue heron, spreading its wings, launching itself into the sky just above the splashing stick in the river!
It was there all the time, resting in the quiet, on the opposite bank. If Sam hadn't thrown the stick and made the splash at exactly that time and place, we wouldn't have seen it!
Thank you, Sam! Thank you, God!
Have you experienced serendipity in your life? I'd love to hear your story!
Do you think it's luck or something bigger?
Praise the LORD.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
his praise in the assembly of the saints.
Let Israel rejoice in their Maker;
let the people of Zion be glad in their King.
Let them praise his name with dancing
and make music to him with tambourine and harp.
For the LORD takes delight in his people;
he crowns the humble with salvation.
Psalm 149: 1-4