The Prayer Stump

My husband chiseled out what he calls a prayer stump from the trunk of a fallen tree. Its back behind our house where he is hidden from human eyes. It’s an uncomfortable seat, an earthly throne of sorts, where he brings our children and grandchildren to a much higher and greater Throne. 

I do the same with pillows behind me on a morning bed of downy white covers where spiders don’t crawl over me and I’m nestled in warmth. Snakes do not slither over my feet or mosquitoes suck my blood. 

I am a wimp. He is not. 

But the interesting thing of course is he finds himself rarely completely alone. There are creatures who share our little forest with him. And he is comforted by those watchers. 

Kinda another reason I’m inside and he is outside.

The picture above is taken from his prayer stump. Can you see the eyes watching? 

This week I’ve been yearning for assurance of benevolent eyes on me. Those same eyes that sorrowfully see me fall and scrape my spiritual knees, also watch with tender care and love. I feel a desperate need for this assurance, for the comfort of knowing I am seen.

An old hymn has sung its way around the shadows of my mind and hummed its way into my emotions.  

Why should I feel discouraged,

Why should the shadows come,

Why should my heart be lonely,

And long for heav’n and home;

When Jesus is my portion? 

Perhaps you as well want desperately not just to know those eyes are there, watching, alert, and present. You long to know He is your portion. 

My constant friend is He;

His eye is on the sparrow,

And I know he watches me;

His eye is on the sparrow, 

And I know He watches me. Civilla D. Martin (public domain)

My heart begs for the attention of my Father, for His eye to be trained on this sparrow.

Maybe like me, there are times you need to lift your head and look up because you simply must feel his loving gaze, there is an urgency within your heart for His look.

Be assured. “The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry.” Psalm 34:15 ESV

The interesting thing about Phil’s prayer stump creatures is that they are hidden. If you aren’t looking for them, they see you, but you don’t see them. 

Look up. He’s looking down.


*Photos by Philip Schroeder

In case you missed it I had the privilege to write about a fascinating but obscure woman in the Old Testament. (click the link below)

12 Replies

  1. Katherine Pasour Reply

    I love being out in nature, that’s where I feel closest to God. I pray, meditate, and rejoice in His creation. I confess it isn’t always pleasant. Mosquitoes and other biting bugs are quite a nuisance. Enjoyed your message and loved your husband’s pictures. Thanks for blessing my day.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Katherine, I am so jealous of everyone who loves nature. I really do love it, but just not up and personal, and I wish I wasn’t such a chicken!! Thanks Katherine. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  2. J.D. Wininger Reply

    Looks like Mr. Phil has the perfect spot for him. I too enjoy connecting with God in nature the most.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      J.D. You would love his spot I think!! Thanks for reading it and commenting. I always appreciate it!

  3. Nancy E. Head Reply

    Wonderful encouragement here. Fabulous images too!

  4. Joanna Eccles Reply

    Thanks for the reminder that the Lord is watching over me at all times. I just have to look up to see Him.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Joanna, thanks so much for your comment. This was a reminder to me as well. I’ve been trying to “turn my eyes upon Jesus,” as a regular practice. And the thought that He is looking down on me somehow makes it seem so much lovelier!

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thanks Patricia. My husband is the patient photo taker and he has some amazing ones from our back yard. Appreciate you reading and commenting!