I live near a tidal creek, and that body of brackish water is often a destination when I walk. Some days the creek is so still I see rose-colored bands of the sunrise threaded through its glossy surface. Other days, often at twilight, the waters are rippling with life--arctic white egrets spear fish in the shallows at low tide and minute crabs scurry away from my footsteps as I approach the great oak that hugs the creek's bank.
That day I leaned against the ancient tree, weary from the day. So many cares. I was tired from a ten-hour day. I'd almost stayed on the couch watching Dr. Phil instead of getting outside. But I'd pulled myself off the couch knowing it was better to move. I kept telling myself, "You always feel better after you move."
And so there I found myself at the creek breathing in its subtle saltiness. I looked down and observed my reflection quavering in the green-brown waters. And at just that moment a single leaf fell from the tree and began to move down the gently flowing creek. I sensed a still voice that could only be a whisper from God. "Let go. Cast your care. You are deeply loved. There are no conditions. You do not have to perform for me. I accept you as you are. Life is difficult, but in my care there is peace."
And so I watched that leaf until it was just a speck, lifting my hand and waving good-bye to my worries and anxieties, imagining that leaf bearing my burdens away on the current of God's love and grace.