I was sitting outside around 1:00am the other night. I was doing nothing more than trying to escape the rare 90 degree Portland late-night heat. I set down my book after absorbing another chapter and thought I would just listen for a while…to the night…to the unfortunate sounds of the the law enforcement and the petty crime that wage war in the nooks and crannies of our neighborhood…perhaps I was hoping to just hear the ‘still small voice’ that He often opts for.
I sat there laying in the thick grass which could have used a haircut…although I preferred it sidewalk wild unarguably more than it’s pending fresh cut which was surely only days away. Nothing more than a few sounds filled the air in any direction…trees rustling, murmuring car motors, wind tip-toeing in and out of the more docile ambiance. And just then, as though it were some divine practical joke, a flock of a good 50 or so geese flew over head. At first their collective honking blended in with the distant murmuring of car motors…although awkwardly different. It couldn’t hide its true identity for very long, for as they neared the only thing keeping me convinced it was not a flock of geese was the hour in which they chose flight.
I don’t know much about geese, and so, as is the way these things work, I’ll chalk this one up to ignorance and assume that these migratory birds do actually fly late at night, and what befell my ears was not all that unusual. All the same though…this particular flock sounded distinctively rambunscious, honking with almost angry vigor…haha, perhaps because their lead goose chose the 1:00am departure date. Whatever the case, these geese announced their coming from such a distance away that it took them nearly a solid minute to catch up to their own voices and fly directly over head.
I thought to myself that God must sometimes laugh at his creation. It was pure and funny to listen to a flock of geese that sounded like rabble, and cranky old men, and ill-behaved children race across the sky with uniformity, surprising grace, and impressive bugeling. God brought to mind the imagery of a bunch of clowns competing for the spotlight, all honking those infamous little red horns at will. Now imagine those same clowns performing in a giant darkened music hall, surprising all the patrons listening in to a rather harmonious and all at once cacophonous repeat button of honking ballards.
I laughed gently as I lay there…perfectly still, sunk into deep grass, blending into the hush of midnight plus one , eavesdropping on rather entertaining goose-talk some couple hundred feet above in the navy velvet night. I thought to myself…”God and His geese (laugh).”
Thanks for Your feathered performers Lord…they were delivered perfectly…like a well timed and well told joke.