Wednesday, April 23, 2014

For Love of a Snail

"he leaves a shining trail behind him..."
Job 41:32

I went for a walk with my sweetie the other day, on a trail near our home.  It's a place of loveliness, with trees and flowers galore.  We saw birds and butterflies and plenty of lizards.  We also saw a momma duck, and a daddy duck, and two ducklings playing tag nearby. 

And we saw a snail. 

In earlier times in my life, I might not have noticed the snail.  After all, it's just a snail.  It's not furry, or soft in any way.  It doesn't have a face that attracts attention, or even eyes that can evoke feeling. 

Like this guy:

photo credit:

The snail that I saw was crossing the trail, veerry slowly..... The sun was hot, and he had a long way to go, and I was a little worried about him, with all the walkers and joggers and cyclists on the trail.  So I carefully picked him up and moved him across, putting him down in the shade, so he could finish his journey in safety.

You see, I have a daughter who is exceptionally, extraordinarily compassionate.  Even overly compassionate, if there is such a thing.  For as long as I can remember, any creature that somehow made it into our home, has made it out alive.  Spiders, crickets, June bugs, the occasional bee, and yes, the lizard and the bird that found themselves in our house, have gently been escorted out.

{The exceptions are ants, who are gunning for our food, 
and the cockroaches who invaded one summer.  Those I killed.  Dead.}

And the reason for all of this mercy, is my sweet daughter.  Out of deference to her sympathetic heart, all of us have taken to relocating the critters in our house.  And a snail whose minutes might have been numbered, found himself in the shade, and within easy reach of the grass.

My daughter's extreme compassion is unusual in our family.  I mean, we're all nice people, but I never used to have any qualms about squashing spiders who invaded.  And I wonder if maybe her compassion is one of the ways that she's most like God.

We all are like Him; designed in His image.  And yet we can be very different from one another.  I love that ~ that we're all like Him in some way, without necessarily being like each other.  So maybe the way she's got my eyes, and her father's artistic talent, and her aunt's hair ~ she's got her heavenly Father's mercy.  Maybe our strongest quality is the way in which we are most like Him.

None of us are perfect.  But we don't have to be, to be like Him.  My sweet girl's consideration of others, and my husband's creativity, and my son's unending joy, are more than just characteristics of the people I love.   They are characteristics of the Lord I love.

~ "So God created man in His own image;
   in the image of God He created him;
        male and female He created them." ~
Genesis 1:27

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