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Lessons from Hopping Hazel

posted Aug 24, 2018, 12:17 PM by Tricia Sheffield

Grace and peace to you in these final weeks of summer!


Olivia’s Forest has not seen the birth of many fawns this year. I’m not sure why; I reckon these things go in cycles. But there is one special fawn that has come up with an even more special doe.


The other day I looked out the window and saw Hopping Hazel. You may recall she is the doe that “hops” or stumbles through the world due to a mangled front leg. In whatever weather, brutal heat, drenching downpour, or a snowy chill, she manages to get around, albeit slower than the rest of the herd. But, still, she does get around. Even though it breaks my heart to see her struggle, her tenacity always makes me smile. Go, Hazel!


I’ll be honest. I was surprised to see her with a baby. But, when I thought about how strong she is despite the odds being against her, I realized I shouldn’t have been shocked. She does what she can, when she can, and how she can, trusting her Creator to take care of her. Or, at least I’d like to think she does.


Where do you see God in your life right now? 


It was a question asked of me several years ago and every once in a while I’ll ask it of myself, as I did today. And I thought of Hopping Hazel and her little fawn, whom I’ve named Harriet. Whenever Hazel visits she continues to teach me about the fierce power of the Holy Spirit. That is to say, in our struggles, our limping along, or in our fears, we can trust in a God to take care of us, a Christ to redeem us, and a Holy Spirit to walk continually beside us. Because despite what may be going on in our lives, the Spirit will always show up for us in tenacious ways. 


Where do you want to see God in your life? 


That was the second part of the question I was asked. Oh, I’m sure many of us would answer too many things to mention. But, even though we may not see God as readily, we can have the same trust in our Triune God to hold us, care for us, and move us toward a world where the leaves of the tree of life are for the healing of the nations, and a great river of the water of life runs through the city, and the city will have no need for moon or sun, but the glory of God will be its light, because God’s grace will be extended to all people (Revelation 22.1-5).


I not only see God in the beauty of creatures such as Hopping Hazel and Harriet; I see God all around us as the persistent Spirit continues to bring forth the reign of God, even when our world may seem to be hobbling along. I am grateful for this truth of God’s steadfast nature. And I am thankful that I am given opportunities to see God, but more importantly, I have deep gratitude knowing that God sees me.


Where do you see God in your life right now? I look forward to hearing your answers when I see you on Sunday. 


In gratitude for the privilege of being your Pastor, and the holy call of loving you,


Pastor Trish


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