This past Sunday, I had an interesting experience as I was hiking in the woods near my home.

It was not a particularly easy walk. I pushed through more briars and spider webs than I care to count. I carefully made my way down a steep, overgrown hill to get to the bank of a small stream.

My trek took me to the “v” where this stream connected with another.  For a number of reasons, I found myself wanting to pray. I kneeled down with my knees against the soft, wet sand, closed my eyes and started my prayer.

I know there are times that I pray for my own reasons (Or, I’m simply trying to give God permission to do what I want God to do.  By the way, that generally doesn’t work out).  This time, however, it was a genuine heartfelt prayer and I started to notice the stillness surrounding me. There was the sound of streams, a few birds chirping in the distance and the sounds of leaves moving in the gentle breeze.

When I opened my eyes, I was suprised to see a deer standing a few feet from where I was kneeling.  I held my breath and tried not to move as not to scare her away. Time really didn’t seem to matter in this moment. She might have been there for 30 seconds or two minutes.

Then something startled my new deer friend and the deer made a loud, bleating noise. It’s a warning to other deer that something is happening in the area. Sometimes, that sound can be a call for help or a call to move.

As I stood up, I watched the deer gracefully run through the woods.

So, I’m not going to do the pastor thing and make everything that happens in life a possible sermon illustration. Honestly, the deer has me thinking about “quiet” and “voice.”

For awhile, I’ve been “quiet” when it comes to writing. I’ve posted a few things on this site, but I really didn’t find any inspiration. I’ve heard people describe their experience with being quiet as feeling stuck in one spot. Maybe, I’ve been stuck as well.

Yet, I think the bigger feeling is that sometimes in this year, I started to feel “whole” again and, after my prayer on Sunday, that was the thought that came to my mind: “Be whole.”

Since Sunday, I’ve felt an inspiration to write my thoughts again. In fact, I’ve already outlined three posts/sermons on the “Parable of the Prodigal Son.”

Yet, I also realized that in my “quiet period,” I couldn’t find anything to say because I was trying to write for other people. I wanted people to read the posts. I wanted them to be shared on social media. I wanted to prove something in writing them.   To move forward, I had to let that go.

Now, I realize that numbers and likes are not the goal of my writing. I’m writing “for me” and for the therapeutic feeling of putting thoughts on “paper.” (Well, in a writing program!)

So, I’m going to post these thoughts on the blog/website for me. If you enjoy reading them, you are welcome to follow along in the process. If you do read them, then thanks for being a part of my journey.

My deer friend had a time to be silent and a time to take action and speak. On my best day, that is a part of my own journey.