Thursday, November 3, 2011

Oh, Those Eyelashes!

Would you like to read about my giraffe story?  It is one of the highlights of my life and I’d like to share it with you. God has answered many prayers in my life, but this answer showed me how intimately our Heavenly Father truly cares for us. May you find the inspiration from this story to pray about the tiniest, seemingly insignificant things in your life. As God's Word says, "You do not have, because you do not ask." (James 4:2) It is our Heavenly Father’s pleasure to bless us.

My only daughter was a Missionary to South Africa. She had left home and country at 19, giving a year of her life to serve The Lord.  One year turned into twelve.  In 2001, Alece was getting married in South Africa, so her dad and I, and her two brothers flew over for the wedding.  Alece and Niel planned a magnificent two-day safari for the bridal party and our family prior to the wedding.

On day one of the safari, the trackers gave us fare warnings: do not get out of the jeeps and we had to be back at the chalets before darkness set in. They found all kinds of animals for us – elephants, hippos, and rhinos.  (And earlier that week we had seen lions.)  It was the most incredible experience.  But, as day one came to a close, we still had not seem my favorite, the giraffe. The trackers were driving us to the two chalets within the reserve that Alece and Niel rented for us.  The sun had set and it was dusk. Our family was riding in the second jeep. Suddenly, the first jeep stopped and the bridal party hopped out and were running into the bush yelling, “Giraffes!” With cameras in hand, we followed blindly and without thought. But, it was darkening quickly. We could only make out the form of the giraffes running (in a slow lope) away from these screaming humans. The trackers rounded us back up into the jeeps, giving us fare warnings - again.

Upon reaching the chalets, the trackers asked what animals we wanted to see in the morning.  I shouted, “Giraffes!”  Then under my breath, I asked my Father to please bring giraffes into our path on tomorrow’s safari, so we weren’t wasting our time looking for them.  “Please bring the giraffes to us", was the desire and prayer of my heart.

The women settled into one chalet, the men into the other.  My daily routine in those days was to be up at 4 AM to spend time in the Presence of The LORD and His Word.  So, I asked the women in my room if they would mind if I set the alarm.  I was encouraged to sleep in; after all, I was on vacation.  I was so tempted!  It had been a full few days and I knew I could probably use the extra sleep.  But, after climbing into bed, I hit the “on” button.

The alarm rang on time. Trying not to wake anyone, I grabbed my Bible and very quietly worked my way through the house to kitchen to make some coffee. In the dawn of early morning (the sun rises early at that time of year in South Africa), the only place I could find an outlet to plug in the coffee maker was in the dining room.  I bent down on the floor to inset the plug and I turned my head to the right toward the large picture window.

There, bent down, and looking directly into the dining room, was a huge giraffe. His nose had to be a ½ inch from the window. Holding my breath, I slowly I stood up and went to the window. Our eyes met and we just beheld each other - God’s creature meeting God’s creature. He stood there so still - as if he was allowing me to absorb his every detail.  Oh, those eyelashes!  They had to be two inches long. Tears streamed down my face as I gazed on this gentle giant of Africa. It was one of the most stunning moments of my life.

I ran through the house screaming, "Giraffe!  Get your cameras!", jolting all the women awake. I then ran next-door, pounding on the door and windows, to awaken the men. I didn't want anyone to miss this Divine Appointment we had with the giraffe. We all gathered outside in our PJs, camera ready.  To our great surprise, God had not just brought one giraffe to us, He brought a family of seven - all who seemed not to notice the flashes from the cameras. Eating breakfast from the tops of the trees, they just naturally went about their business, as if their Creator had whispered in their ears, "It's OK. Just let them watch you." And there we stood in the midst of them for about 45 minutes until, as a group, they stopped eating and went their way.

I specifically asked my Father to bring the giraffes to us. In my wildest dreams, I couldn’t have thought that this is how He would do that.  He bestowed a gift upon me, His daughter, just because He loves me and wanted to bless me.  I will never, ever forget His loving, intimate answer to my prayer; and I will never, ever forget those eyelashes!

Because of Him and Unto Him,

This was posted over on Tell Me a Story on 4/3/12


wordglow said...

Diane, If you pared this story down to the bare minimum (i.e. how you went to Africa for your daughter's wedding, prayed to see a giraffe before you left, and how God brought them to you at the window), I would bet Guideposts would take this for their "What Prayer can do" segment! They don't take so many words, but you could get this down to the essentials. I encourage you to try :) - Pam P.S. Something about this story is reminding me of something similar God did for me, but I can't quite bring that memory to the surface. What a beautiful gift for you!

Diane Ronzino said...

Thanks Pam...I'll work on it to see if I can cut it down that much. I'm sure many of God's children have stories like this. His love for us is truly something! (I'm at a loss for words!)

Pam said...

I think this is a pretty unique story. I'd just cut it to the essentials to set the stage as to what you were doing in Africa and how you really wanted to see giraffes but had seen everything but. Then you could just talk about getting up early for prayer and alone time and what happened after that. If you look at some old guideposts on that segment, it might inspire... :)

Christina Berry said...

What a great story, Diane! Thank you so much for sharing! I would be thrilled to death to see giraffes in the wild - how awesome!

Diane Ronzino said...

Thanks, Pam, for the tips and encouragement!

Diane Ronzino said...

Hi Chrissy! Thanks for your comment! It was a blessed season in our life. And I am very grateful to The LORD for the African experiences.

Andrew Ronzino said...

Sorry I haven't visited in a while. :-( I LOVE this story! I'll never forget chasing the giraffes! How they ran in slow mo was awesome! The next day was cool too.

Love you,

A Joyful Noise said...

Thank you for entering your thrilling story on "Tell Me a True Story."

I got goose bumps just reading it for I KNOW God does care about the things that thrill us!

Diane Ronzino said...

Thank YOU, Hazel, for having a place where we can tell our true stories!

Love it and look forward to Tuesdays!

Barbara said...

This tugs at my heart as I LOVE giraffes... Oh, may I be bold and ask more.
Thank you!

Diane Ronzino said...

Thanks for coming by to read, Barbara. I love giraffes too!

I just finished your story on Tell Me A Story. I'm deeply touched by it. Thanks for posting it.