There is a zoo, about an hour from my house, where you can climb up on a platform at certain times of the day, and feed giraffes. Since giraffes are not native to the American Midwest, this is probably the closest I ever have come, or ever will come, to a live giraffe, and I have enjoyed the opportunity to interact with this unique member of God’s creation.
Giraffes are grazers, but their unique bodies are not best designed for munching on grass or other low-lying plants. Instead, their focus is on the tops of trees and tall bushes. For me to feed a giraffe, I need to be at the level of the tree branches. And it changes my perspective. I’m no longer paying attention to ants and blades of grass. I can see landscapes and clouds for miles stretching out around me. Not a bad view at all!
Yet giraffes are still grounded–they do not soar like eagles, above all the clouds and unattached to the earth. Giraffes must still be on guard and prepared to flee danger from predators or grass fires. But their unique height and perspective give them a better view to see the danger from far off, and act accordingly.
Sometimes, I think we are called to pray with a giraffe’s perspective–to look up and out and pray from the treetops–a little closer to God and leaving behind the small things of the world. Lofty prayers of gratitude and praise; prayers that recognize that there is a big world of wonder all around us. Prayers that look ahead and can see trouble on the horizon; to seek God’s face early and prepare for hard times ahead.
Sometimes, we need to pray from the depths. God will still here us, no matter where we may be. But the Bible reminds us often that we should look up, ascend, raise our eyes, and change our perspective.
I plan to take some time today for treetop prayer. Will you?