“For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.”
~1 Corinthians 14:33
I sat down on the damp earth in the garden and watched three gray geese swim across the sky, their wings parting the air with graceful strokes. There was a determination in their flight as if they had made the decision to fly over my cottage a lifetime ago. I was mesmerized by their beauty. I closed my eyes and listened to their lonesome cries drift back to me: “Hur-lick!” “Hur-lick!” I felt God’s peace fill my soul until it brimmed, then overflowed.
I opened my eyes to see the geese— now small dots on the distant horizon—languidly heading to wherever it was that God had directed their flight. I stood up and brushed away the leaves and twigs that had stuck to my pants. With sure steps, I strode back out into my day, as if I had made the decision a lifetime ago. Perhaps I had.
“In my Father’s house are many rooms.”
There is a particular smell in the garden at night when it rains. Pungent. Woodsy. Like nothing I’ve ever smelled before. Every time I encounter it, I’m filled with a nameless longing—homesick for a place I can’t remember. Tonight I stood in a soft rain just to breathe it in; to feel that sweet longing.
“Dear God, my heart longs for something I can’t name. Something I can’t remember,” I said as the rain peppered my hair. I stayed out in the dark for a few minutes more, then went back inside.
I don’t know why I’m telling you about it, other than I think you know that longing too. It’s a haunting reminder that what we have in this life is of no comparison to what God is preparing for us when we return home.
I toweled off my hair and crawled into bed and settled down to sleep, perhaps to dream. “Goodnight, God,” I said and turned off the light, knowing that all throughout the night, He would be there with me, just as He is with you, until the end of time.
“Do not be anxious about anything…”
On the wind, the Starlings fly; their soft bodies pushed side to side as they navigate the coming storm. Instinctively, they take refuge in the oak tree just outside my window. I watch a mother squirrel lead her baby across the lawn. Together they climb the magnolia tree to wait out the rough weather. The Juncos eating at the bird feeder take flight as it swings with each new gust. I sense a shift in the temperature as the clouds burst open.
I marvel at God’s creation. He instilled intelligence in all of His creatures. Everything works perfectly together; all the minuscule pieces aligned by God’s hand. Everything that I see in the world enables me to trust all that I can’t see.
The storm slowly spent its fury. The clouds rolled away and left a turquoise sky shining with promise. The animals left their safe harbors and once again, went about the business of the day. So too, do I. Out beyond the storms of my life I go with God. I trust Him with all of my tomorrows— with all that I cannot see.
Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket, or under a bed?
The trail twisted to the west where a stand of redwoods was so thick that sunlight couldn’t reach the forest floor. I stopped to catch my breath from the constant uphill hike and to admire the beauty. “You know that dream I’ve been nudging you with?” God asked.
“Yes. I’m aware of it,” I answered.
“When are you going to act on it?”
“I don’t know. I’m nervous about it,” I replied. A crow flew into the trees and took rest on a low branch. It looked quizzically at me as if it was waiting for me to say I’d take proper action today.
“It is more painful to keep your light hidden than it is to risk letting it shine,” God whispered in my ear as I started walking again. The crow took flight and flew ahead of me, landing on another branch just up ahead.
I caught up to the crow and called out, “I’ll do what I need to do to honor what God has given to me. Are you happy now?” I laughed at the absurdity of the moment but enjoyed the playfulness. As if satisfied, the crow launched itself into flight and disappeared into the deep woods. “God, with your help, I’ll risk bringing the dream into the world,” I said. The path leveled out and within a few steps, it meandered downhill. I was grateful for the reprieve from the exertion; grateful that God would walk with me as I moved forward with the dream.
Love keeps no record of wrongs.
~1 Corinthians 13:5
Holding my two-week-old granddaughter in my arms, I remembered how precious my own babies were. I used to look down upon their tiny bodies and marvel at their perfection. I know I was a good mom, but I was also a broken person. My heart ached for all the paths that I wandered down that took me away from who God intended for me to be.
“I loved you anyway,” God whispered as tears came to my eyes.
“What?” I asked.
“I knew you’d break my heart, but I loved you anyway,” God said gently.
“Oh God, you did?” I could barely get the words out.
“Of course. You’re mine. How can I not love my creation?” He answered.
“I’m so sorry for all of my mistakes.”
“I know you are. I’ve forgotten them. I wish you could forget them too,” God said softly.
“Thank you, God,” I whispered. I gazed down upon my sleeping granddaughter, my heart so full of love for her. I thought of God’s love for us— a love I can only appreciate, never fully fathom.