Monday, October 7, 2013

Suspending Reality

photo credit:
You know when you're a kid and you'll believe in almost anything?
You'll believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny?
Bad examples.  Those are all real.

Let's go a different direction altogether.  Stay with me.

Just last week, Eric and I were talking about our differing beliefs in God, the nature of God, where we "meet" God, etc.  Deep conversation.  We don't often talk about God, despite the fact that we are both very active in our church.  Our children are active in church. We all believe God exists, but in what 'form' is strangely never discussed.

One thing that came out of my discussion with Eric is that I seldom "meet" God in church. 
 I serve God in church.  I happily (most of the time) act in Christ's place.  I try very hard to be an example of a true Christian.  Someone that loves others despite their place in life.

So, where to I meet God?
The tiniest flower is a commune with God.
The way the bark grows differently on one side of a tree than the other is a commune with God.
Beetles, and slow moving water, and vast plains, and fluffy clouds---God is there.
Dogs sleeping upside down, chickens chasing a grasshopper, a cat purring in my lap---God is there.
The way the grass creeps into the flower beds, the way the snow will dance in the wind, the way the ocean roars to the beach during a storm---God is there.

Last night, at 2am, my dogs completely lost their minds.  
Growling, barking, scratching at a door in my bedroom that leads to the outside.  
Above all the ruckus, I could hear something that sounded like it was trying to get in!
I flipped on the light and expected to see the neighbor's cat---maybe trying to escape a nighttime predator?
Maybe a skunk, raccoon, or an opossum?

It was a young porcupine! No bigger than a soccer ball.
The fluffiest little ball of fur and quills and fear.
My guess is that it heard my dogs, ran up the stoop to my room, and was trying to get "Up" to safety; not realizing that the dogs were just on the other side of the place it was trying to get to.

This isn't really a biology lesson, but in the interest of my tale you need to know that porcupines climb trees.  The live in trees, sleep in trees, eat trees.  Impossible, I know.  Big, lumbering rodents do not climb trees.  These do.

So, what does this little porcupine have to do with God.
Here's where the post title comes in, "Suspending Reality".

I'd like to believe, for one brief moment that God made that little porcupine encounter possible.
Possible for my birthday.
Today is my birthday.

I know, I know, it's a reach.
I don't really believe that God gives birthday presents.
My own belief is that God isn't really concerned about my birthday one bit.  God is far more concerned what I do with my days than on what day I was born.

Last night at 2am, I had an encounter with nature that I've never had before.
I got to see a porcupine in the wild for the first time.  Right on my back stoop.
Birthday present or no, I had an encounter with God.
Pretty good way to start the beginning of another trip around the sun.
photo credit


  1. Whata wonderful post. I, too, see God everywhere around me, every day when I am outside. Happiest of birthdays to you!

  2. Happy Birthday! Awesome gift and encounter. Living on our farm has taught me that God is all around...I see his face in all of my animals and hear his voice in the wind through the trees.

    1. Beverly, your farm is a church, all in itself. :)

  3. I loved your story! And, HECK! Why not! God is everywhere, we just forget to look!

    Happy Birthday!


    1. You're right Linda, we forget to look sometimes.

  4. I don't think it's a reach at all. So very happy you got a gift you really love and appreciate. Happy birthday!

    1. Thanks Carson. I wondered for a moment if you had sent the little one. I would never in a million years expect a porcupine at my place.

  5. I'm with you. He knows your name AND your birthday. Plus He gives amazing presents. wow

    1. Leenie, it's alway hard to think of myself of being someone God sees at all.

  6. Happy birthday! I love that you all have your own conception of a power greater than yourself. What a neat encounter to have on a special day.

    1. Hi Katie! How have you been? It was a special encounter, but over far too quickly. He was gone by the time I got outside with a flashlight.

  7. Happy Birthday to you. What a wonderful gift from God!

    1. Thanks Linda, it was a wonderful gift!!

  8. How cool! We have porcupines here but I didn't think they even got your far south! How cool you got to see them! Keep your dogs away. It is not fun pulling quills from a dog's mouth! Happy birthday!

    1. Warren, we are on the periphery of porcupine country. I'm always wary of letting my dogs out at night for fear of a raccoon encounter or worse, a skunk encounter. It never occurred to me that I should add porcupine to my list.