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Some time back, my father-in-law told me of an experience he had in the wilderness of West Virginia. He was strolling through a field when he heard the joyous chirping of a robin. He enjoyed its melodious praise for a while before his eyes caught sight of the bird. It was perched high in a wild apple tree, and there was an unusually bright object reflecting from its nest.

Soon curiosity overcame caution, and he climbed the tree. From his higher perspective he saw that the reflection had been nothing but a piece of paper ingeniously woven into the robin’s home. But that was not the end of the matter. Meticulously he removed the paper from the nest and unfolded it. There before him were the faded remains of a hymnal page! Printed on the wrinkled sheet were the words: “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord god Almighty; early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee.....”

In the sacredness of that moment the ground over which the robin had built her nest and on which my father-in-law stood was transformed into holy ground.

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