Watching for Zebra (Again)

The Frio. 
[I offer this encore post because I am away at the Lodge through Sunday. I expect to have new wonders to share upon my return.]
What I Learned at Laity Lodge
I’ve been home two weeks now, and I’m still unpacking. Not my suitcase–it’s empty and back in the basement–but my heart.
I told you last week how I’d learned that real friends don’t abandon the voyage when potholes mar the way. No,they buckle up and endure the bumps right beside me.
I learned some other things, too:
I learned that voices can be music.
I learned that there’s a real live person who resembles a wholesome-looking Jessica Rabbit.
I learned how liturgy comforts and soothes.
And I learned to keep watch for the zebra. 
It started as we drove back from the airport, a Suburban-load full of writers gathering for a retreat. As we drove through the Texas countryside, I spotted the unmistakable stripes of a zebra, standing under a tree in a field alongside the freeway.“I just saw a zebra!” I exclaimed. 

One of my fellow passengers (maybe Diana?) chuckled. “Suuuuuuuuuuuure you did,” she teased.Linda, our gracious driver, explained that many exotic animal ranches call this corner of Texas home. Sure enough, a few minutes later, Jeffrey, sitting beside me, pointed out vultures tearing at the carcass of an antelope.

By the time we arrived at Laity Lodge, we had spotted dozens of exotic creatures at these ranches, but no more zebras.
No more zebras. 
Our weekend passed and together we learned and we ate and we laughed and we worshiped and we cried and we rested and sometimes we just sat, quietly, and drank in the beauty of the Frio River.
And then it was Sunday afternoon and we began, Suburban-load by Suburban-load, to leave this quietly gorgeous, welcoming place and reclaim our daily lives.
As I took my leave, I said to Jeffrey, “Don’t forget to look for the zebra.”

“Thanks for reminding me,” he replied. “I’d forgotten about the zebra.” 

I thought about that. I thought about the creation alongside the road, the Creator who painted stripes on a horse,the wonder we might see, if only we could remember to keep an eye open. And keep a heart open. 
I thought about hearing the humility lying deep in proffered gratitude for a reminder to watch for zebra.
There’s one more thing, then, that I learned in Texas. I’ll keep my eyes open. And, God willing, keep my heart open–open so I remember to breathe gratitude for the astounding wonder of the world He’s created.
 Because we never know when we’ll spot a zebra. 
rabbit conga

Lift up your eyes on high
And see who has created these stars,
The One who leads forth their host by number,
He calls them all by name;
Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power,
Not one of them is missing.
Isaiah 40:26 (NASB)


  1. The bit about Jessica Rabbit made me chuckle. And I’m glad you added the “wholesome-looking.” 🙂

    You will have a wondrous weekend. Again. Looking forward to hearing more.

  2. I did, Monica. I did. Thank you.

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