God is merciful and forgiving.
The deer were here again last night, soundlessly dining on the zinnias. Afterward, they lay down in them, flattening out the once tall, proud plants. I want to feel angry but cannot muster the emotion. I know the deer are hungry, and I, the foolish city girl, planted a smorgasbord for them. I lifted the wounded branches out of the soil and placed them on the compost bin.
“You’re learning how to be a country girl,” God said to me.
“Apparently, there is a lot to learn,” I replied and smiled.
“Experience is the best teacher,” He said.
I nodded in agreement.
“Next year you’ll plant deer-resistant flowers.” I nodded again.
“If only life’s missteps were as easy to correct as replanting a flower garden,” I said.
“Oh, but they are! You’ve got grace and forgiveness to help you,” God said warmly.
“You make it sound so simple.”
“It is simple!” He said. “Just as you felt compassion for the hungry deer, I feel compassion for all of my children. I know they are going to make mistakes.”
“But you love us anyway, don’t you?” It was more of a statement than it was a question.
“Of course I do,” God said. “Just like I love my hungry deer.”
I looked out over the garden and felt connected to all of God’s creation; all of us learning as we go.