I love squirrels. Not everyone does, in fact many consider them a pest. But, I have always had an affinity for them. In fact, as we say here in Texas, I think they’re downright cute. As a child, I’d watch my father feed them pecans on our deck railing. I remember the first time a squirrel finally trusted me enough to come down and take a pecan piece from my hand. My heart leapt when he wrapped his tiny black claws around my fingertips. Within another week, I could stroke his soft fur as he munched. He was my squirrel.
For the last three years of his life, my late husband and I lived in a new development. The trees were little more than planted saplings, hardly the aboveground highway these furry creatures roam. So, none were attracted to our yard. It was then I realized how much I missed watching the little guys frolic, forage and fight the Blue Jays for the sunflower seeds in the feeder. I missed how the sunlight shone through their bushy tails, and how they’d sit up, paws together, and look around them.
Moving to an apartment after my husband died was a tough but necessary transition. Outside my window is a common area. The first day, I saw a squirrel. My eyes welled. It was a special sign from my loving Father telling me all would be well. I just knew it. That squirrel stayed around all week, and I as I unpacked and settled in, I’d watch it romp and look for fallen acorns. Warm memories would envelop me like a fatherly hug.
The squirrel vanished when the landscapers came with their loud mowers and leaf blowers. But, every now and then when I am feeling a bit low, my squirrel will appear, perched on it haunches, the sun streaming through that fluffy tail. It is as if God is telling me, “I am still here, even when you can’t see Me. I love you.”
In the Gospel of Matthew, chapter six, Jesus explains how God cares for the lilies and the birds. He cares for my squirrel as well, just as He cares for you and me. As I watch the squirrel forage acorns, I realize there are untold blessings I must seek out as well, lest I miss them. Blessings like a small furry creature popping into view just when I need a warm fuzzy feeling to boost my world-worn heart.
Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. 1 Peter 5:7