I saw God this week----contributed and printed with permission: Fr. John Forliti, chaplain, St Catherine University
Our scriptures say GIVE GOD THE GLORY. . . .
On Wednesday, heading out for my daily walk, I stopped to talk with my 85 year old neighbor lady as she was mowing her lawn. I asked if I could help, and she said “YES, you can supervise.” I took that to mean NO. On my way back she was raking leaves where her boulevard meets the pavement. Again I stopped, this time to congratulate her for having the finest lawn in Como Park. She laughed. No chemicals, she assured me, just a lot of attention. “It keeps me out of trouble.” And she laughed a clear, healthy laugh, then added, “If I am not out here working I’m upstairs making Christmas tree ornaments for my grandchildren, started already last January.” I saw in her an indomitable spirit, receiving God’s beauty and primping it up for others to behold.
I moved on towards home only to be stopped in my tracks by the red maple decorating my front lawn. We planted it 11 years ago in memory of my Mother. A gentle wind, blowing the red and crimson and turning leaves, captured my attention for the longest time. Standing mid-street I watched it sparkle in the late afternoon sun. Some cars drove by, I wanted so badly to show them the beauty of our Creator. I waved, hoping they would stop. Too busy, holding their loved ones together by cell phone. For a moment I felt sad, but quickly returned to gazing at my maple tree, autumn blaze is what the greenhouse people call this kind. If I could I would rename it “Divinity on fire” Divinity on fire, God seeking my attention.
On Thursday I walked around Como Lake. It was high noon. The colors seemed outrageously peaked. Red, orange-red, gold, golden-brown, seven shades of tan, countless varieties of green hanging on, like me, hoping to hold off winter. Vines, once green, showed off their autumn red as they twisted their length upwards on selected trunks. Then, wild flowers caught my eye, bent now, their temporary purpose spent, but seemingly confident in roots that would rise again. In the distance, sitting on a lakeside bench, sat an elderly couple, one empty wheelchair waiting alongside. Is it he or she who is pleasured to push, I wondered.
Step after step –there are 3,200 of them around this lake—I saw the beauty of God against a perfectly blue sky. On another bench, near the pavilion, a woman sat with camera in hand, looking out over the sky-blue waters. Did she have any idea that her tinted reddish hair matched the crimson maple a heartbeat away? I wanted to stop and tell her so, but it seemed an intrusion so I walked on.
There is a philosophical principle that says: If you do not have it within you, you can’t give it! In other words, if the talent is not in the artist, it won’t be in the art. How beautiful, then, our Divine Artist must be, and stronger than the widest oak, and forever showing off, peacock like, with dazzling brilliance. Yearning to catch our attention!
Give to God what is God’s, glory and praise and thanksgiving. Thank you, God, for delighting us, season after season.