For 27 March 2020: Fifth Friday of Lent
Read: Jeremiah 17:7-8
This morning began on the back porch rather than the front. As I watched, three squirrels were playing “chase” and “keep away” with a manky acorn they’d found from last year. I watched delighted and with giggles as this exuberance of Spring unfolded through the ivy and grass. Eventually, they ran toward the brush along the back of the yard.
Among the carpet of leaves and plants under the brush was a cardinal. His proud red feathers and posture taken its’ full form as the squirrels came running closer and closer. He stood there; he was not going to be moved. The lead squirrel, with the manky acorn, ran to his left; he watched it run along its’ way unmoved. The second squirrel dashed to his right and behind his back. Again, he stood unmoving and resplendent in his dignity. The third squirrel in this excited game came racing at our avian hero leaping right over him! I giggled as I watched my red-feathered neighbor appear to become indigent in attitude and take to wing. I sat there laughing out loud at the spectacle which had just unfolded.
As my laughter began to subside and I could hear the trio scurrying down the neighbors’ privacy fence, I noticed a new visitor to the scene. There where our avian hero had proudly stood was a small blue feathered friend. A White-breasted Nuthatch arrived to inspect what had been left. The Nuthatch looked, pecked, and seemed to find a tasty morsel. It continued the search beneath leaves and throughout the brush. Eventually, the Nuthatch, too, took to the wing.
After all these events finished, I remained silent on the back porch with my tea and toast. In the cool morning air, I had just received an answer to prayer. I wake-up each day with a simple prayer: God, show me where you are today. It’s that simple. The first conversation of my day is that prayer. It is usually prayed half-asleep trying not to trip down the stairs. Today, God answered quickly. The trio of treetop comedians and my avian friends’ visit were the answer.
God started my day with laughter. God blessed me with the sight of a handsome bird which I will admit is my favorite of all birds. Finally, God blessed me with the visit of a White-breasted Nuthatch preparing to rear a brood in the coming weeks. Those three simple happenings all came together in those moments. The Spirit pushes me to simply wonder with delight at what God has made and given to me for its’ care and protection. God answered my daily prayer quickly today by showing me a small portion of God’s abundant blessings in my life.
Jeremiah, in the midst of proclaiming a word of judgment also announces a word of grace. Jeremiah say: Blessed are those who put their trust in God, with God for their hope. They are like a tree planted by the river that thrusts its roots toward the stream. When the heat comes it feels no heat; its leaves stay green. It is untroubled in a year of drought, and never ceases to bear fruit. (Jeremiah 17:7-8, TIB). Jeremiah’s call is for us to put our whole trust in God, but also to “drink deeply” of God. This morning, I was given simple gifts – joy and delight. In those, I can drink deeply of God’s amazing and abundant grace. Where is God showing God’s own self to you, today?