I snapped on Shakespeare’s leash and out we went for our lunchtime walk. We hadn’t gone very far when we came upon a snail making his way across the sidewalk, headed towards the road. I picked him up gently and returned him to safety. Halfway up the hill, we came upon another snail, crossing the sidewalk towards the road. I picked him up, too, and moved him to safer ground. “God, move me away from danger, from the folly of a closed heart and mind,” I prayed.
We walked on, Shakespeare and I, stopping wherever he smelled something intriguing, and me, humbling myself before God, asking Him to rescue me from myself.
All night, a gentle rain fell while I slumbered. I woke to the smell of freshness, the garden bathed and clean. The sun had not yet climbed high enough to share her warmth; I pulled on my coat to go outside. Puddles lined the pathway and pooled on the blossoms and leaves. The damp chill in the air made me wistful—wishing for fall to arrive with her shorter days and cozy nights. I yearned for romance, for innocence. For sweetness. “The worlds a chaotic place these days, God,” I whispered. “Bathe us in your love so that all hearts can see you in everyone, no matter the color of their skin. May every child of yours know equality and justice,” I prayed.
A bird in the tall pines began to sing, giving me hope that one day, we will understand that we are here to love one another, to celebrate God in each other, and in ourselves.
I took God’s heart in my hand and climbed the steps back to the house, to start my day with His love.
“You must get so angry with us human beings,” I said to God as I ate my oatmeal, watching the sun take her morning stroll into the sky. “We tend to muck up everything.” I thought of the headlines I’d recently read.
“People attempt to understand me by ascribing human emotions to me,” God answered. “But the truth is, I don’t get angry. At the heart of anger is fear, and in me, there can be no fear, for I am perfect love.”
“You love us all the time?”
“All the time,” God answered. “How are those oats that I grew for you?” He asked.
“Quite tasty, thank you.”
“If you go about your day seeing me in everything I’ve created, even your oats, you’ll see how much I love you.”
A squirrel scampered into the garden for the peanuts I’d put out by the feeder. She sat with her tail in a backward question mark as if to ask, “Do you see God in me?” I laughed. “Yes, I do.” She found a peanut and joined me for breakfast, her black eyes shining with love.
Fog rolled in off the ocean, curling over the rooftops and down into the garden where I sat watching the stars begin to dot the heavens. I pulled my scarf tightly around my neck— the temperature quickly dropping. Soon, the stars were obscurbed.
I looked out over the garden, the little twinkle lights in the trees glowing in the mist. I buttoned my coat and sat and watched it dance, turning and swirling on the breeze— appreciating its delicate beauty— God’s breath made visible.
The seeds in secret grew, extending their tender roots out into the dark earth beneath my wandering feet. Unaware, I went about my work, tending to the garden. A brave sprout first appeared by the fence, popping up to take a look around. She must have sent a signal to the others that it was safe, for soon there were dozens of little shoots rising up through the mulch.
“Welcome to the garden,” I said to them as I deadheaded the calendulas. They waved their two little leaves at me in unison. “How did you get here?” I asked, but then realized that the birds at the feeder had planted them, spilling seeds as they ate.
“Every one of you is a little miracle, ” I said, seeing in them the ancient mystery of God.
“Thank you, birds, for these baby sunflowers” I said.
“You’re welcome,” I heard them sing.
I raised my face to the heavens and said, “Thank you, God, for everything.”
“You’re welcome,” He replied, deep within my heart.