Prayer Is Like Watching For the Kingfisher: A Poem by Ann Lewin

Prayer is like watching for

The kingfisher. All you can do is

Be there where he is like to appear, and

Wait.

Often nothing much happens;

There is space, silence and

Expectancy.

No visible signs, only the

Knowledge that he’s been there

And may come again.

Seeing or not seeing cease to matter,

You have been prepared.

But when you’ve almost stopped

Expecting it, a flash of brightness

Gives encouragement.

Prayer Is Like Watching For the Kingfisher – by Ann Lewin

“And I found the Poet’s store On the threshold of my door.”: “Poet” by Liberty Hyde Bailey

The everyday. The local. The particular.

These are the areas where, if we have the eyes to see and the ears to hear, we find the Spirit of God at work. It takes patience, time, and persistence – all things we’re conditioned to bypass – but the gentle voice of God echoes in and throughout the everyday, local, and the particular. Being present to and within them are the essence of living like the Incarnate God, Jesus of Nazareth.

I have been wrestling with these realities for awhile now and so when I read this poem over at Slow Church, I had to share its beauty. It is a lyrical recognition of the posture of Jesus that ends with a surprise to our contemporary, Western obsession with the grandiose.

POET

Tell me, O Poet, where thou dost live

Show me the place whereon thou dost stand

Lead me to the crests that give

Those wondrous scenes thou dost command

And let my waiting soul enwreathe

The rarer airs that thou dost breathe

Upon thy diamond shore.

He took me by the hand

And led me to my own hearthstone

We paused upon the wonted floor

And silent stood alone—

Till all the space was over-pent

With a magic wonderment;

And I found the Poet’s store

On the threshold of my door.