Jerry is a rough-skinned newt, but don’t let that put you off. He’s actually quite soft, albeit slightly bumpy. My daughter spotted this visitor lounging on our brick walkway, early in the morning. I was instantly captivated. I think I actually squealed a bit in my delight. Interrupted from my morning beauty ritual, my face was only partially on and my hair was in a not-so-fashionable turban. I didn’t care. I grabbed my camera and fairly flew out the door. I’m glad I had my clothes on.
Jerry was looking rather worn. He stood there on the hard brick, still and dirty. I knew the forecast called for unseasonably hot weather. I looked at his dry skin and decided that he would spend the day with us. Jerry was treated like royalty. We put a bit of water in the bottom of a glass bowl. This way, Jerry could relax in a cool, wet environment and watch our daily activities. We learned that his favorite time of day is night time and that he likes to eat spiders, bugs, and worms. Since we did not have a ready supply of any of those, it was decided that we should release him. When the sun went to bed and the ground had cooled, we saturated the flowerbed with water from the garden hose and let Jerry go free.
We were sad to see him go, yet grateful for the time we got to spend with him.
I had sent a picture via my phone to a friend of mine. She messaged me and said it made her happy that I find such joy in God’s creatures. I pondered that for a time. Those who know me well just roll their eyes at me when an interesting critter crosses my path. They know that my curiosity will have to be satisfied before life can move on. I can’t help it.
All of the worries of the world fade away as I watch a woodpecker catch a meal. I am riveted. I dare not look away. I don’t want to miss a moment of this unexpected sight.
I am enthralled by the intricacies of a dragonfly. The sound of his stained-glass wings hum a peaceful melody.
My never-ending to-do list takes the back seat to the fine, young buck filching apples in the neighbor’s yard. His velvety antlers beg to be stroked. I wonder if they feel as soft as they look.
On a berry picking mission, work halts as I spy a little friend watching me intently. He feels like a surprise, orchestrated special just for me, and I feel the love of my King in such gifts. It fills me with a joy that lasts all day.
My friend was right. There is nothing else that fills me with wonder quite like these creatures. When they unexpectedly enter my busy world it is as if God is saying, “Stop. Look! See and delight in what I have made!” I find these events to be small gifts from my Creator, given to me to help me slow down and just marvel at His goodness.
What makes you say, “Wow, God!”? What fills you with joy and wonder and makes you feel as though you are a part of something grand? For my husband it is gazing at the vastness of space on a clear, crisp night. For a friend it is seeing the sun shimmering like diamonds off the water of the bay. For some, the roar of the ocean fills them with awe. For others, the vivid colors of a flower may bring forth a smile.
Whatever it is, may we take some time this week to enjoy it. I encourage you to stop for a moment and be still. To see the handiwork of our Lord in His created things, to hear His voice in the music of the insects and birds, and to feel His peace enveloping us as we slow down and look for signs of Him.
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” (Psalms 19:1b, NIV)
“For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.” (Romans 1:20, NLT)