The shadow of His wings has become an important theme since a family member has fallen so ill. Two weeks ago I blogged about the juniper branches in our yard spreading like protective wings over the birds and rabbits and squirrels, providing shelter during winter storms.
Yesterday at church a friend presented my husband and me with what he called his Christianized version of a Japanese blessing. His cultural tradition expresses long life and fidelity in the form of a crane, and an origami hanging of a thousand cranes is often presented to loved ones and friends on special occasions such as a wedding or the birth of a child.
Our friend invited people from our church to write prayers and scripture verses related to my family’s situation on 1,000 pieces of origami paper. Then he folded each one into a crane and strung it into a beautiful waterfall-like hanging.
Such a visual representation of prayer is astounding. A thousand hand-written prayers and scriptures offered by young people and adults alike, each one folded into a colorful crane. What an outpouring of grace and faith, time and labor to cover my family with prayer.
Another friend dear to my heart wrote to share with me the significance of “wings” in scripture. She said the ends of a Jewish man’s prayer shawl (tallit) were often referred to as wings, particularly when he spread his arms.
And she, too, was astounded by the cranes. “Two thousand wings,” she said.
I love the interweaving of God’s metaphors as He delivers His message to us. He captures my imagination and faith with such visual reminders:
“Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings” (Ps. 36:7).
Indeed, as I mentioned before, I feel the feathers of His presence.
May you tuck yourself beneath the shelter of His wings.
Photo of Tommy Sakamoto courtesy of Karen Gee.