The Word was made flesh and lived among us.
“How can we make sense of you God, when we can’t fully fathom you?” I asked as I hiked the nature trail in-between the storms that had been battering the area.
“Through my Son, whom I sent to you as one of you. In Him, you find your way to me,” God answered. “Why do you walk this path?” He asked me as I stepped cautiously around a big puddle.
“Because I can follow it without having to figure out where to go,” I answered.
“You don’t have to figure out where to go when you follow Jesus. He walked before you, to show you how to live. Imitate His behavior—how He lived and died as a human being.” God explained. “As the Word made into human flesh, Jesus brings you to a closer relationship with me who is beyond your human experience.”
I glanced up and saw a rainbow breaking through the clouds—God’s promise to us. I smiled, knowing that my human mind may never fully comprehend God, but I could try my best to do as He instructed. As I walked on, I thought of Jesus’ simple way of telling us how to be closer to God. “Follow me,” was all He needed to say.
God is my refuge and fortress.
Branches broke off from the oak tree as another storm blew in from the North. I heard them hitting the roof of the cottage as the windows protested against the force of the wind. I drew my shawl around my shoulders and stood at the window, watching sticks and leaves fly about the yard. I spied the feral cats taking refuge under the hedgerow, their little bodies turned away from the gale. Not a single bird was at the feeders that swung like pendulums from their poles.
“The animals are riding out the storm in protected places,” God said to me. “They know to be patient, trusting that this storm will pass, just as all storms eventually do.” A gust rushed through the old oak in the yard. God pointed to it as its branches moved wildly in the wind. “Its roots grew strong from storms like these,” God said.
I thought of the storms I’d experienced in my life, each one making me stronger by taking me deeper into my only refuge, the Heart of God. A flock of birds braved the wind and fought their way across the sky. I watched them as they struggled forward, determined to get to where they were going.
“With you as our fortress, we will all make our way through the storms,” I replied. I didn’t want to leave the window, but there was work to do, and so I turned away and got on with my day, taking with me God’s promise that storms don’t last forever.
“Goodnight, God,” I said, my eyes heavy with the desire for sleep. “Thank you for another day. It was wonderful.” I put another log on the fire and hoped it would burn well into the night before allowing the cold to enter the room. “I’m really tired, so if you don’t mind, I’m going straight to sleep, without my usual prayers,” I mumbled the words as I started to drift off.
“I know what’s in your heart,” God said and gently pulled the blankets up around me. He turned off the light but left His light burning softly so that if I awoke from a dream, frightened and confused, I could see Him and be comforted.
“Thank you, God, for being there,” I said and fell fast asleep.
When I woke the next morning, He had already pushed the sun above the horizon and woken the songbirds for me. “Thank you, God,” I said, and got out of bed and stepped into another wonderful day of His creating.
Have Christ’s consciousness.
Walking in the woods this morning, I called out to God as I so often do. “Please, walk with me.” The sound of gentle footsteps greeted my ears. A warm hand reached out for my own.
“I’ll walk with you,” Jesus said as He pointed to a covey of quail in the thickets. They rose up as we got closer, their wings breaking the hush of the morning. I saw Jesus watching them, His eyes bright, a smile forming on His lips.
“Jesus, I want to be more like you. Can you teach me how?”
“See the world through my eyes. Respond to everything in life with my heart,” Jesus replied.
“But you see everything with eyes of love. You respond to everything with a heart of love,” I said.
“Love is what I came here to teach,” He said and squeezed my hand.
“It’s not always easy to love,” I confessed.
“I know. But make love your daily intention, and ask for my help when you need it. It’s worth the effort. Love will change your life in extraordinary ways,” He explained.
We walked on, listening to the songbirds and watching the clouds drifting lazily above. Every step I took drew me closer and closer to Him, to where I longed to be.
Love is the greatest.
1 Corinthians 13:13
The afternoon felt heavy. An ominous malaise settled down over me. Nothing felt good or right. I pulled on my coat and scarf and pushed open the door, hoping that a gentle walk would lift my spirits. I walked through the meadow, by the tall trees, and listened to their leaves applauding the day on the breeze. Somewhere off in the distance, a farmers dog barked excitedly. The sun did her best to warm my body, but my heart was cold as stone.
“God, can you please help me?” I prayed under my breath with each step I took. “I’m discouraged.”
“Here, take my hand,” God replied and began walking with me. “What seems to be troubling you? Tell me all about it.”
I shared with God the heartaches I’d kept to myself lately. They tumbled out of me fast and furious—tears joining them as I spoke. When I finished, God hugged me. “I’m here for you,” He said. I wiped my nose on my coat sleeve.
“Thank you,” I replied through my sniffles.
“I love you, my sweet Sparrow,” He said softly. We walked the rest of the way in silence, me holding His hand tightly. When we got back to the cottage, I put another log on the fire and cozied up on the chaise. All I had needed to banish my blues was to know that I am loved.