One of the churches we currently attend invited us to live in the farewell discourse of Jesus found in John 14-16 during the Lenten season. The truth is that our rector challenged us to memorize these last words of Jesus as John records them. I have not submitted to that challenge because I can’t memorize and I don’t like failing. (Ugh!) Instead, I spend a few moments every morning writing these Scriptures. The discipline of writing Scripture requires me to slow down, digest every word, and ask Jesus to bring meaning and life from these words.
Lent is only four days old and I’m batting .500, which in the major leagues means I’m highly successful. HAH! But let’s go with that.
DAY 1: Philip said: “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”
I spent the day looking for the Father. I found Him on my way to work, just as I exited the subway on the south end of Manhattan. Keep in mind that I work in Battery Park. On my walk from the subway station to my office, I can see the bronzed Bull of Wall Street, the triumphant One World Trade Center, and the majestic Lady Liberty still hoping to welcome the tired, the poor, and the huddled masses yearning to breathe free.
But on this Day 1 of Lent, as I looked for the Father, hoping that a glimpse of Him would be enough for me, I saw Him in…wait for it…a SQUIRREL!
“Bev, surely you can do better than that.”
Oh I wish I could, but that’s all I got. That little squirrel stood erect on this tiny portion of protected grass. She stood on top of a rock, nibbling on the seed between her paws and carefully protecting the remaining red berries at her feet. And she was chubby! The mild New York winter never forced this little rodent mammal into hibernation. Someone needs tell her swimsuit season is just around the corner!
I kept looking for God the rest of the day, but I never found Him. But everytime I thought of that plump little squirrel on that tiny patch of protected green space, surrounded by gigantic cement trees humans call buildings, oblivious to the hundreds of people passing her by, thoroughly enjoying the table before her, I smiled. I’m still smiling. I’m smiling because God gave me a little glimpse of something that brings me great joy, animals and because right there in the middle NYC, I saw the embodiment of Psalm 23….
He will make me lie down in green pastures,
Though I walk through the valley in the shadows of death, I will fear no evil,
He prepares a table before me in the presences of my enemies
Thank you, Jesus, for the squirrel.
Show me the Father and it will be enough.