Monday, June 18, 2012

Chipmunk Grace

If I am faithful about anything, it is feeding the birds. Both my husband and sons will attest to that. In fact, now that our sons are no longer living at home, we spend more on sunflower seed than on groceries.

Last summer, in an attempt to add some color to our garden and, ever so slightly, defray the cost of sunflower seeds, I purchased a packet of sunflower seeds and planted them in one of our garden beds. A few days after planting, I checked to see if any were sprouting. Where my nice row of seeds had been planted, there was now a neat row of holes. The chipmunks or squirrels had dug up every single seed! I decided that it was a waste of time to plant sunflowers, for all my effort produced nothing.

This spring, I did not give sunflowers any consideration for my garden. Yet this summer, I am enjoying sunflowers blooming continuously in my garden. I have sunflowers at various stages of growth in almost every bed.

Chipmunks can fill their cheek pouches under our bird feeders because brown thrashers sit at the feeders and knock out lots of seeds as they look for something particular. I enjoy watching a certain chipmunk whose home is apparently at the back fence of our yard. He fills his cheeks, runs through our garden, and carries his loot to his hole for safekeeping. Or at least that is his intent. Apparently along the way, he has dropped clusters of seeds in the various beds of our garden. And now, we have sunflowers!

This chipmunk has taught me a lesson about God’s grace and gentleness. All my effort to grow sunflowers produced nothing. My planning and productivity resulted in no fruit (or flowers, in this case). Yet my faithfulness in feeding the birds, day in and day out, rain or shine, produced the flowers I had tried to get by my own effort and in a way much better than I could have ever planned. You see, the planting has been done all through my garden, not in an isolated bed, and has been staggered over time so that as one group of flowers begins to wane, another group is about to bloom.

If you follow my blog, you will know this is my first post in several months. Try as I might to be productive, to create some good piece of writing, I was coming up dry. I finally gave up trying so hard to produce something and instead have been trying to rest in God’s presence and let God simply shine on me and to accept God’s graciousness to me. When I quit trying so hard, God sent a chipmunk with a cheek full of seeds to show me that all I really needed to do was to let God be God for me, and to let myself be God’s creature.