This photo by Leonardo Battista of Peregrine hunting Starlings at roost is one of the most inspiring and provocative images I’ve seen this year. Leonardo’s camera has captured a still moment with stark contrasts. We see the starlings dart around — twisting and turning — their separate forms barely discernible. In contrast the Peregrine is posed — ‘like a skilled harpoon-ist’ (as Peterson once wrote in the Contemplative Pastor). The Peregrine is composed in the action — waiting for the right more to make the move, conserving energy so that when the decisive moment comes — it is ready.
The contemplative way is not averse to action, but it is counter to a culture of hurry, or looking busy in order to impress. As we grow in our lives of prayer we are being formed by God to take on his culture, his way, his wisdom. In doing so we become more focused — able to nurture, harness and focus our energies well. As a result, we find our actions have an effect that outweighs our normal expectations, we find we are living increasingly with a sense of freedom and lightness. This is what I hope to learn from the Peregrine.