Are you not more important than the birds?
The day was not going as I had hoped. I made myself a cup of tea and got cozy in the wicker chair on the front porch. I wanted a few minutes to myself, away from my responsibilities. A flock of birds flew lazily overhead, the sunlight glinting off of their wings. I envied their uncomplicated lives; they didn’t have work and bills and busy schedules.
“You’re discouraged,” God said to me and rested His hand upon my shoulder.
“I’m feeling down on myself,” I said honestly.
“Let me remind you of who you are,” God said gently. “You are mine. You are known. You are loved. You are strong. You are worthy.”
“But sometimes, I’m a mess, like today,” I said fighting back tears.
“That doesn’t change who you are,” God said. “Those are just feelings—worries, really.”
Another flock of birds flew overhead, their wings cutting through the unseen breeze. God pointed to them. “They know who they are; they know that they are mine. You can be as worry-free as them if you remember who you are.”
The birds circled back and landed on the feeder by the hedgerow. God, the maker of all things and I sat together and watched them eat, and I remembered who I am. I am His.
All rivers run into the sea.
A group of pickers descended upon the orchard just as I finished my work. I stood by the window and watched them tug the pudgy bottom-heavy fruit from the trees. “I’ll miss the pears,” I said to God. I had grown used to seeing them dangling like ornaments from the trees.
“It’s their time,” God said.
“I know, everything has a season.”
That’s right,” God said. “One season fades into the next, like the rivers into the sea.”
“You’re a poet today, God!” I replied and smiled. I looked out over the rolling hills. The sun, now sinking towards the western horizon, painted the treetops orange. A lone hawk circled soundlessly above while the metronome tap, tap, tap, of a woodpecker kept perfect time. “You’re a poet every day. You must be, to create such grandeur.”
“Not everyone can see it,” God said.”Only those who aren’t frightened by impermanence can see it—those who understand that the river isn’t lost to the sea, but rather the two of them go on together, ecstatic to have finally found one other after so long apart.”
A breeze kicked up and sent leaves tumbling across the yard. “The pears may be gone, but soon, there will pumpkins” God whispered. I nodded and reached out for His hand to hold as the last picker walked out of the orchard.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
The cottage was cold when I woke up; I threw a sweater over my shoulders and made my way to the kitchen. A stew would be good tonight, I thought to myself. I poked around in the fridge and found the vegetables I wanted—parsnips, turnips, carrots, onions, sweet potatoes, and rutabagas—along with some grass-fed beef. I took my time peeling and chopping everything, savoring the quiet of the morning.
Hours later, I was curled up on the chaise lounge working, when the stew’s heady aroma found its way to me. It reminded me of fall, of gathering together to share a meal. A melancholy welled up in me. I missed my children. “God, I’m a bit lonely,” I said. “I’m cooking a gorgeous stew and there isn’t anyone to share it with.” God started to reply but a knock on my kitchen door interrupted Him. “Coming!” I hollered down the hall. I opened the door to find Tom, my elderly neighbor. I motioned for him to come inside.
“Whatever that is cooking sure smells good,” he said, as he took his hat off.
“Would you like to come by later and join me for dinner?” I asked.
“I wouldn’t be an imposition?” he asked, twisting his cap in his hands.
“Heavens no. I’d love the company,” I said. “But what can I do for you now? Did you stop by for anything in particular?”
“No, not really. I was driving by and something made me want to stop in and see how you are doing,” he said. I smiled because I knew who had sent him.
“Thank you,” I said to both Tom and God. I opened the lid on the crockpot and stirred the stew, looking forward to setting the table for two.
The universe was created by the word of God.
What is seen was made out of things that are invisible.
Sitting outside this afternoon, I let my mind drift away from work and onto the mysteries of life; how little I know about the complexities that make up our universe.
“God, What’s an atom?” I asked.
“He was the first man I made,” God answered.
“Not Adam! An atom,” I spoke slowly, emphasizing the “t”.
“Just kidding with you,” God chuckled. “Atoms are the building blocks of everything.”
“I know, but what are they really? They have more empty space than they do matter,” I said.
“That’s true,” God said. “The empty space is possibility.”
“For creation,” God said quietly.
“I’m not sure I understand.”
“You don’t have to. Atoms work perfectly, whether anyone understands them or not. You only need to understand that possibility resides in emptiness. Make space in your life and in your heart and soul. Clear a space for new things to generate,” God said.
“How do I do that?” I asked.
“Start by banishing busyness from your day,” He explained. “And learn to let go.”
“Of what?” I asked.
“Whatever stops you from seeing me in everything. Whatever stops you from relying on me.” Embarrassed, I felt the blood rush to my cheek, for I knew I’d been guilty of being busy the past few days, relying on my ego and willpower to lead the way. “It’s in the emptiness that you’ll find the answers that you’re looking for,” God said gently.
“You mean that “be still and know that I am God” message you often remind me of?”
“Exactly. The empty space in an atom knows me,” God whispered.
“Now I’m even more curious about them!” I laughed.
“Curiosity is a good thing, Sparrow,” God replied. “Let’s go take a walk through the woods before you go back to work, and I’ll show you things that will make you even more curious about my creation.
“Let me get my hiking boots,” I answered, and trotted off to find them.