Blog # 374 God's Love
"Within Your temple, we ponder Your kindness, O God.." July 7, 1991 we used this antiphon on the 4th Sunday of Ordinary Time. I was in Bryson City, N C living and caring for Father Frank Gardner who was dying with cancer. This week I looked at some of the notes I made at that time, "pondering God's loving kindness". What follows here is an excerpt from those notes.
There are several birds at the feeder outside the kitchen window. They have no personal relationship with me. Yet they are dependent upon me for the seed in their feeder. A bird could be domesticated and have a limited relationship with me, to recognize me and distinguish me from another person, from the enemy cat, etc. There would be a real trust and lack of fear of me on the part of such a bird toward me. There would be an apparent joy when I came out with food and water.
However, though the birds are not capable of entering into a personal relationship with me on the level of another human creature, on a different yet definite level a domesticated bird can relate to me in ways the wild bird does/ can not. Stones and plants are not developed enough by their nature for this. For birds and other animals it is possible.
There is a thrush out there now 'working' for its corn. picking and scratching grains out of the grass where it has blown at the edge of the cement path by the feeder.
There is no awareness of me, the giver of the grain, and no ability right now to trust me were I to open the door and go out. The bird would fly away if I did.
Is there an analogy here between ourselves, our world, our experiences, and
God? We are capable of receiving and being aware of God's love, in all creation, in ourselves. Others have testified to this, and we have experienced it ourselves to some degree. Yet we seem to live in an age and circumstances when the focus on God's presence and love is not sharp, not emphatic in the pubic arena, not the popular way of experiencing human life. We seem to be sharing more the ex- perience of wild birds rather than consciously living in the house of the Lord, His temple, all creation.
What should be our response? Specific time, energy, and effort to discover and respond to the reality of what we believe, what we have heard of, and from the Lord, attempts to clarify and make more significant applcation of the content of our faith, that God is real, close, loving, and dependable.
Within Your temple we ponder Your kindness, O God. Yes?