Pastor’s Corner: The Power of Small Spiritual Tasks

Yellow billed cardinal

July 15, 2020

This week I did something I’ve been thinking about for a long time. Some of you will be surprised to hear I hadn’t done it long ago. It didn’t, in the end, take very long. I tried it once before, but I ran into problems that meant I had to give it up. This week, I got it done.

I put digital nametags on my photos of Hawaiian birds.

The benefits of this are, I admit, limited. I am not a wildlife photographer who spends hours in the woods equipped with a long and heavy lens that can bring a tiny songbird into focus. My photos will have no market, make no impression on anyone except the few who see one online or who might ask me for a print. In a couple of cases, I’ve had to guess at the identity of a bird that is to small to name with certainty. Then there are the untagged photos of dense foliage. I thought there was a bird there when I took the picture, but I’ve never been able to find it since!

I’m living my life these days acutely aware of the things I can not or should not do. Many of those activities bring me rest or satisfaction. Many of them comfort my spirit. I feel the lack of them.

Putting digital nametags on birds summoned the memory of some of those activities: spending time in the woods, photographing Hawaiian birds, imagining stories for them. It reminded me of those times that refreshed me. With the memory came a portion of that same renewal.

In this season of “can’t do,” what can you do to nourish your spirit? What memories will revive you? What prayers will renew you? What can you breathe in to refresh you?

Find it and do it, be it only the memories of birds.

With aloha,

Pastor Eric

Photo of a (now labeled) yellow billed cardinal by Eric Anderson.

Categories Pastor's Corner Reflections | Tags: , , | Posted on July 21, 2020

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