“You know one of the things I miss because of this pandemic?” I asked God as we went on our daily walk through the deserted neighborhood.
“Tell me, Sparrow,” God answered.
“I miss seeing and hearing the children outside. I miss their shouts of joy and laughter.”
“They will return,” God said. He paused, then continued, “Children only know to love, until they are taught to fear and hate.”
We walked on a little farther, and He said, “Be like a child, Sparrow. Unlearn your fears. Let go of your hate.”
“I’ll do my best,” I promised. Just then a neighbor walked out of her house with her toddler. I waved to the two of them—the toddler laughing back. It was the sound of God’s joy. It was the sound of love.
The sun pushed its way into the morning and sauntered over to my garden. “Are you here to grow my flowers?” I asked— the marigolds leaning their pretty heads towards its warmth. I smiled at the thought of God’s creation—the pieces all fitting together in the service of life. A bee buzzed by on his single-minded task of visiting each blossom. I sat down on the cool, damp earth, and watched God at work, orchestrating an entire universe in my little flower patch.
“It’s all love,” God whispered through the tall foxgloves, His breath waving them to and fro.
“I know,” I said, “because you are love.”
The sun playfully kissed the flowers, sending their sweet sighs out into the air. I sat for a long time, wanting nothing more than to be with God in my garden.
It hadn’t been the best of days—the weather was soggy and cold—and work had been hard and emotionally draining. I knew I should put on my coat and go for a walk, but I just couldn’t muster the enthusiasm. I curled up on the couch and felt sorry for myself.
God came and sat down next to me. “Rough day?” He asked.
“Yes. Rough day.” I nodded.
“What can I do to help?” He asked.
“I just need to know that you are here and that you care,” I answered.
God reached His hand out to comfort me. Something caught my eye as He moved it toward me.
“What’s that?” I asked and turned His hand over. There was my name, engraved on His palm!
“You’ve been written here for all of time,” God said softly. He took my finger and invited me to trace my name. I ran it over each letter as my tears fell into His precious hand.
Bent over my laptop, typing furiously, I felt overwhelmed. “God, this is a big project I’m working on,” I said. “I need it to go well. It’s really important.”
“So it sounds,” God answered, and pulled up a chair and sat down.
“I’ve got big project for you, too,” God said.
“I don’t know if I can take on another one right now, God.”
“But it’s really important,” God said and smiled.
“What is it?” I asked, feeling a bit perturbed.
“It’s you.” He said. “Working on yourself.”
I stopped typing. I looked up at Him—He was grinning in that innocent how-can-you-be upset-with-me way. It made me burst out laughing. “It’s the biggest and most important project anyone will ever work on for their entire life,” He answered.
I stopped my work and grabbed my jacket from the closet. “Let’s start now as we walk together,” I suggested.
God bent down and tied His shoelace and then off we went.
I woke up shouting, my whole body quivering with fear. I gasped for breath, trying to make sense of what was happening.
“You had a bad dream, Sparrow,” God said comfortingly.
My eyes adjusted to the darkness—the familiar surroundings helping to slow my racing heart.
“A nightmare,” I said in a rather shaky voice.
“It’s over now. You can go back to sleep. I’ll keep watch over you,” God promised.
There, at the foot of my bed, burned the soft candle of God, lighting the darkness should I wake again, and be frightened.
I closed my eyes and fell back to sleep, safe in His light and love.