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A Wildlife Artist's Prayer

Great Creator, as I approach my desk, may the work that comes from it glorify You so much that it is no longer a desk, but an altar of praise and thanksgiving.

May the sharpening of my pencils be the sound of an orchestra tuning in wait of its Maestro. And in the moment that the color touches the paper, may You, Alpha and Omega, Great Creator, come to the platform, lift your baton, and may everything of Your wonders spill forth. May every molecule of color blossom as the truth of our own humility, proclaiming the glory of Your creation as if it is glorious music to Your ears. In the whisps of grass, the flick of a bird's feather, the soft red tresses of a fox's tail - may Your presence be proclaimed. May the wonder of creation rise up and sing its wordless praises to You.

You said that if man did not praise You, the rocks themselves would cry out. So many things already do if we choose to hear them, Lord; if we choose to see them.

Please use me as an instrument of Your wonder, that I may translate it to us, Your children. May the voice of my art sing and lift You high and call others to taste and see that You are good.

All creation sings of Your mighty and tender and magical presence in everything. You are the whisper of the wind, the ripple on the pond, the veins in a leaf, the juice of the blackberry, the light of the sunrise, the wisdom and generosity of the tree, the brittleness of the rock, the reflection of light in the eyes of every living thing.

You are in the first breath of the newborn fawn in the dark woods and in the last breath of the mountain lion on the open rock. You are the stare of the coyote, the silence of the owl's wings, the cry of the hawk, and the hiding of its prey.

You are in every raindrop, every snowflake, every bolt of lightning, and every crackle of thunder. You are in every beam of light penetrating through the forest leaves, and in the shade of the forest floor. You are in the heartbeat of every peregrine flying hundreds of stories high, and in every movement of the worm pushing the earth below the ground.

You create magic and beauty all around us if only we will see it. If only we take a moment to look at You everywhere.

My creation is a drop of water in the vast oceans and infinite galaxies of Your creation, and yet, if it whispers to one soul and points, "look," I will have done what You put me here to do. I will have listened and obeyed.

Honesty in seeing things as they are: wondrous, miraculous, beautiful, alarming, and magical - that is what I want to reflect of Your image. Dirty and unsteady surface that I am.

So I give You my hands, my eyes, my ears. May they bear Your fruit. May they dance with Your Holy Spirit and burn incense in this little art space - the temple of Your forest.

Veni creator spiritus.


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