About Jesus - Steve (Stephen) Sweetman
As my wife and I sit on
our deck overlooking our well-manicured lawn/garden we call our outdoor
family room, he scampers onto my lap.
With mouth wide open, a tiny paw reaches out in anticipation of
another peanut, and me being me can't deny the little guy.
It's as much of a joy for me to give him a peanut as it is for him
to receive a peanut.
He's Chippie, the cutest
little chipmunk you'll ever meet. He
is one of our backyard friends and he loves his peanuts.
He stuffs as many as he can into his cheeks before heading to his
secret hideaway. Of course, he
has to share the peanuts with our Blues, our Blue Jays who fly onto the
deck rail to pick up their stash. Then
there's Woody the Woodpecker. He
prefers eating his peanuts from a bird feeder while the squirrels below
fight over any that fall to the ground.
It's the best show around.
I love watching Chippie
sit on my lap as he bites through the peanut shells.
I love it even more when he lets me pet his soft silky back.
With each stroke I think of his earthly existence and the smallness
of his world. It consists of
our backyard and maybe a couple more backyards.
His whole day is spent scrounging around for enough food for that
day and the upcoming winter, all along keeping an eye open for predators.
Chippie knows next to
nothing about my world and probably doesn't care to know.
He's just glad to benefit from it.
He actually knows the word "come," as in "come for a
peanut." We've tried to
teach him "no more" but "no more" doesn't seem to be a
concept he comprehends. It all
reminds me of Isaiah 55:8 and 9.
"For my thoughts
are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.
As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher
than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."
As Chippie's world is so
small compared to mine, so my world is even smaller compared to God's
world, and being a Christian doesn't change that reality.
Like Chippie, I'm about surviving.
My understanding of God's world is limited.
Despite this limitation, I sure do benefit from His world, and that
includes the Holy Spirit living within me.
He is the doorway into God's world.
Although the Holy Spirit
has placed my spirit into God's world, my humanness prevents me from fully
comprehending it. Still, I'm
thankful and humbled for this divine privilege.
I, metaphorically speaking, can sit on God's lap to be fed, and as
I do, I feel His hand, also metaphorically speaking, petting my sorry
All those in Chippie's
world eagerly anticipate the Revelation 21:1 brand new earth (Romans 8:20
- 23), and so do I. In one
precise moment Chippie's world, my world, and God's world will suddenly
exist in a harmonious oneness we've never known (Isaiah 11:6, 65:25).
Until then, Chippie is still Chippie.
I'm still human, and God is still God.
I have no logical choice but to live a life of humble thankfulness
before my God.
Photos by Dianne Sweetman
Chippie, letting me pet him while on my lap with a peanut in mouth and one of our blue jays.