It's that time of day: when the very slightest hint of daylight is visible. The horizon is an unexplainable shade of blue, and it's right before the first song of the morning's first bird. Today, that time is marked with the hoot of the neighborhood owl. This owl loves to roost on a street lamp directly across from our house.
An owl's sound always stops me in my tracks just as it did a moment ago. As a young girl, my mother tells me, I used to be afraid of the owl's hooting. Our quiet ranch house property, far away from seemingly everything, was host and home to owls galore. Apple trees outside our windows were a favorite gathering place. It was those times of being afraid that I would go to my Mom, and she would open the bedroom window, get down on her knees with me and we would simply listen. We listened to the curious "hoot-hoot.....hoot" of the large-eyed created bird, and she would then turn my attention to it's maker - God. She told me that God made that bird that way, to make that sound. And we would just listen.
I was unaware of this teachable moment until she told me many years after the fact. Now, it is for me a sound of comfort because I then imagine my mother, in all her tenderness, pointing me to Jesus in my time of fright as a little girl. Nothing to be afraid of really, but how wise of my Mother to use what to me was a scary sound, to point me to the Lord. The hoot is my reminder of the Father's faithful presence in my life today in the same faithful way my Mother helped me see Him when I was a child.