The blue heron stood perfectly still in the warm morning sun on the white sandy beach of Destin, Florida. Six feet from a fishing pole and a bucket of bait, the two-foot tall skinny bird moved not a muscle, his head held high. The fisherman in a beige fishing cap waded barefoot into the white foamy breaking waves. He cast his line, and the blue heron slowly lifted his pencil thin legs, moving forward ever so precisely, ever so carefully. As soon as the fisherman gazed backward the bird straightened his slender body. When the fisherman faced forward again, the heron tentatively stepped with his long wiry feet positioning himself even closer to his goal. The moment the fisherman glanced at the pretty light blue creature this finely feathered piece of the shore’s landscape assumed his statuesque pose. Over and over he and the fisherman repeated the action.
“He thinks he’s a stealth bird that we can’t see as long as he isn’t doing anything,” I told my husband. Listening to the roar of the tide beside me, watching the power of the water washing ashore I understood how he might assume that. Then I asked myself, “When I’m in a sea of people is my belief in God visible or invisible? Do I stand still, doing nothing with my faith?”
As a Christian from a small town I grew up taking food to the sick, donating to charities and contributing to my church, but is that enough? What do I do when help’s needed on the spur of the moment when it isn’t convenient? Do I stand still, or does my faith compel me to let my light shine?
By the way, the heron made it near the bait bucket, and I hoped the fisherman would throw out a fish, but he shooed the hungry bird away.
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 15: 14 - 16 (NIV)