Sunday, January 9, 2011

Breakfast With The Ravens 1/9/2011

The loveliest necklace is around my appreciative neck as I have tea and toast today. All of my friends know that I love many different elements of God's Creation. The great star nursery in Orion, smoldering Fernandina in the Galapagos, Bridal Veil Falls, South Dakota to name just a few and ravens.

Ravens are special to me because they remind me of the faithful provision of God in difficult times. They attended to God's prophet in hiding providing meat and company morning and evening. Whenever I see one flying overhead, wings outstretched in a spiral high above trees and buildings I take a moment to be grateful to the One who fashioned such perfection.

I do not know all 2011 holds but God is still in the business of providing for His people and is not beyond using every thing at His infinite disposal to do so. Miracle compounding miracle. His blessings are ours to bring in the Kingdom. I have only to look up at dark wings flying for His pleasure to be reminded of it.

Whatever you need it is at the ready. Grace and mercy, hope and provision, they will come when you call them..when you call out to Him. Such is His favor. His goodness. His careful planning.

I received a wonderful reminder of this all over again this week. John and I made an offering we felt so directed to make into the field of a friend. We purchased seed for him to plant here in Alaska in some of the darkest of places. Each seed a pinpoint of light. All throughout the week John and I felt God's favor in a dynamic and satisfying way after that offering was made.

Within a brief span of days the raven began to fly over our own field returning to us the grace we had given. Morning and evening. Financial blessing, personal recognition and last evening a special delight. A hand made necklace with a raven theme was placed around my neck by dear friends. The blessings just continue to fall at our feet. It was special because I love being reminded of God's provision but I also am reminded of the joy of friendship and creativity. The necklace was designed and crafted by another friend whose hands have held a violin and now have added other areas of accomplishment. God's gifts are perfect.

Consider that God has a raven in your future. Lovingly birthed and placed in the air with your address in its heart. Consider that you yourself may be such a raven to someone in need. The only things we get to keep are the things we give joyfully away. Spread your wings and take flight with something to refresh and remind another heart that God is God for them. Wonder of wonders!

And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

Special thanks to Bob, Jan and Elizabeth for extreme friendship. Admiration to Alma for her beautiful craftsmanship. kl

Breakfast With The Ravens
(1/1/2007 the back story)

I love to have breakfast with the Ravens in Alaska. I love it even at 20 below. What jokers they are. Five pry up the dumpster lid while five more do a fly in to remove pizza boxes. They are bigger than small dogs and smarter and they always remind me that I am living in a fascinating place. The Alaskan natives believe the Raven brought fire to man and is a symbol of good fortune. They have been my companions for going on four years now. I drive to my mid-town grocery for a coke and a bagel and never come out without something for “The Guys”.

I fed them on occasion for a number of the eleven years I have lived here. When someone would give me moose sausage, (which I cannot bring myself to eat after all five moose live in my back yard, have received names and have given birth to twins in my driveway) I would pitch it out into the snow and watch the mad dash the Ravens made from all corners of the neighborhood. Ravens love moose as sausage or, Heaven forbid, road kill. The Ravens aren't picky.

My Raven Feed, however, began in earnest in March 2003 when my son went to basic training. It was my way of bribing the Universe to take care of my only child. His father took to his knees. His grandfather made daily trips to the Shrine. The grandmas prayed, made fruitcake and sent nasty-grams to president Bush. I became meals on wheels for the Raven horde.

During John David's two tours with the 101st Airborne in Iraq , one in Mosul and the second one in the “Triangle of Death,” the Ravens ate like kings. I prayed and pitched food out of my car window. French bread, oatmeal cookies, egg rolls, chicken strips (a special favorite) deli beef, salmon and kielbasa. I approximated their calls and down they came. I always think I am saying, “Kathy’s here with the grub,” but since I don’t really speak Raven, for all I know I am telling them, ‘My aunt has a blue pen.”

There is Snaggle-tail and Big Man, The Joker and Miss Piggy and Fred and Ginger to name only a few of the dozens. All have their own personalities. Sometimes I think I see the same ones from year to year but it is hard to tell. They come with the first cold days, which in Alaska is September or October, and leave when it gets warm and the gulls and Canadian geese come to replace them. (As if anything could replace a Raven.) I want to imagine that my regulars return with the first cold days when light is scarce but Ravens are plentiful. My favorites are the Ravens who dance before they eat as a sort of primitive grace. We should be so grateful. When was the last time your anticipation of food made you hop into the air and dance around the table?

I have fed the Ravens when someone disappointed me, when something made me happy, when a friend died, when I got a raise, when I got good news or when I got bad news, when it was Christmas or Valentine’s or my anniversary. I fed them when JD called from a war zone to say, “I love you, Mom. Keep praying I can feel it working.” I found there is always an opportunity to connect to something bigger than ourselves.

My son knowing I was feeding the Ravens in Alaska started feeding the Ravens in Iraq when he could. In an odd way it made us feel connected. They slept on his humvee at night and in the morning he had breakfast with the larger, uber-Ravens of Baghdad . Sometimes they pried open the coolers the soldiers strapped to their vehicles and helped themselves. No matter how difficult the day had been, when he wasn’t on a night mission, the Ravens returned and an instrument of war became a simple roost. Ravens are just as much at home on a machine gun turret as a power line or a pine branch.

John David’s Iraqi interpreter was a bird watcher who introduced him to some of the many different and unusual birds that make the Mideast their home. When JD left Iraq in October he gave the interpreter the book on Ravens I had mailed for Christmas 2005. We are all of us connected in some ways that we have yet to discover.

Well, this Christmas and New Year’s my dear and only son came home. He has many good memories and many sorrows. We feed the Ravens together who fly to our feet when called and enjoy their company as our winged brothers, our dancing neighbors who share a meal with us and carry our thanks skyward with a whisper… “Remember our brothers in uniform and remember the Ravens on the other side of the world. Be Thou our shelter and allow us to shelter others.

Bless us, O Lord, and these thy gifts…


Link to Raven info and to their calls.

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