Readers of this blog at the end of July may remember that Lynn, my Vicar, reflected on the squirrels which frequented the Vicarage garden.
She accompanied her thoughts with a photograph of a squirrel raiding the vicarage strawberry patch. She was in the act of stealing an unripe but rather plump strawberry. I say ‘stealing’, but I’m sure that the offender would say that it was simply a re-distribution of wealth. A Christian view may be that it was a sharing in God’s bountiful provision for the sustaining of all.
“Umph! ” I can just hear some people mutter. My friend, Mary Bard, who won the picture competition last year with a photo of a squirrel thwarted whilst attempting to steal peanuts , may disagree with my loving view of squirrels!
But there is always hope for repentance and redemption in God’s scheme of things!
As we see in Lynn’s latest photographs the squirrel is seeking sanctuary with St. Francis. She sits in the basket and is assured of a ready welcome and acceptance. I think there are signs here of her need for forgiveness and who better to scamper to but St. Francis.
True, she later uses the stone squirrel on the statue to quietly munch a morsel of food, which may have been in the Saints’ basket! Of course, she didn’t steal it. St. Francis (in the guise of Vicar Lynn) always leaves some tit bits around for the animals and birds. On ths occasion, it is a sign of forgiveness because of the squirrel’s repentance.
Maybe that little squirrel teaches us two things.
First when we return to the Lord after some act of unlove or sin, then He always forgives the repentant sinner.
Secondly, once we know we are forgiven we are fed anew with God’s love.
In the squirrel’s case this has come in the form of a peanut.
Yours comes with a sense of God’s grace bursting joyfully in your heart.
Try to love that God loves you!
Dear St Francis,
Thank you for sharing God’s loving care with me,
even when I’m just a tiny bit naughty.
I’m sorry I stole the strawberries.
Thank you for the peanuts.
Please tell God that I love that He loves me, no matter what.
Could you please remind Him to tell other people that too.
They do need to know it quite often.