I came home from work today, kind of in a muddle. It had been a long week, my sense of God seemingly absent. I had just finished up a book study on Francis Chan’s Crazy Love last week and it had opened up some pretty intense discussions and feelings, so this disconnection felt odd and out of place.
Anyway, by the time I got home, I decided I didn’t want to waste the rest of the sun, which has been hiding all week. I ate a quick dinner and then grabbed my Townie and went for a ride. While riding, I thought about how distant I felt from God. I tried to think of times during the week where maybe I saw Him at work and while I am sure He had been very busy, I hadn’t been in the right frame of mind to notice.
As I mulled this over, I saw a group of about five pelicans pass over me. My heart skipped a beat. The late evening sun shone off their wings and it thrilled me to see them. I love these large birds, and it makes me smile every spring when they return. They hang out in front of the dam, the roiling water like a pelican playground, huddling on the few rocks that jut out, while others bob and toss in the river.
I really can’t tell you why I am so attracted to them. Maybe because it seems so odd to have pelicans in Wisconsin. Or because I just like big birds, like sandhill cranes, eagles and herons. Or because they remind me of dinosaurs. And God.
When my son was little, he had a fascination for dinosaurs and the Jurassic Park movies. My daughter did as well, but she dressed her dinosaurs in Barbie clothes and they went out on dates with Chuck the Red Eyed Dinosaur. My son’s dinosaurs were man eaters, tromping thru the living room, messily eating plastic Jurassic Park figurines and crushing their dinosaur catching equipped jeeps. We watched the movie so many times that my husband and I will still find our selves randomly saying “SHOOT HER! SHOOT HER!” while wandering around the house.
In the first movie, the main character, Dr. Alan Grant, discusses often how dinosaurs are more like birds than reptiles – not really a comforting thought when the ‘bird’ is 30 feet tall. At the end of the movie, when they are all escaping in the helicopter, they pass by a flock of pelicans, and you know he is thinking again about the likeness, and how our present day birds may well be dinosaur descendants. I find it all fascinating and it brings out the wonder of creation in me, where some things just can’t be totally explained and answers just lead to more questions.
And this is where my pelican sighting lead me to God. Because I had no explanation for why God created dinosaurs. Or birds. Or me. I could try to guess, but who can guess the mind of God? I could try to hypothesize or explain it with science or the bible, but where does God’s or my purpose fit in? I could choose to believe God doesn’t exist, which would explain some things, but my life’s experiences fairly scream of His existence, so then what?
Today, it turned out to be a happy muddle to be in, because the lines of communication with God that I unconsciously blocked flared open when I started to question Him. Suddenly, I was seeing Him in the sun shining off the wings of a pelican circling over the Fox, in the red flit of the cardinal in the branches and the white puff of a rabbit tail disappearing in the brush. And then I was seeing him anew, in the faces of the people I passed, hearing His voice in the lilt of their conversations, feeling the wind of His fingers stroke thru my hair.
I didn’t have any more answers, but it no longer mattered. The week fell away as I pedaled back home, racing God to my doorstep.