There is a simple bird feeder attached to a large Chinese Elm tree outside a set of sliding glass doors at my house. They overlook a beautiful garden maintained by my wife. Nearly every evening, this winter, as the sun set in the west, I removed an empty ear of corn and replaced it with a new full ear. In the morning Moses would show up and set to work. Before long his “crew” of fellow squirrels join him, along with a few house sparrows. The crew seem to each have a job to do as they race up, down, and around the tree picking up the kernels that fall to the ground. No one seems to bother Moses, nor threaten his place on the perch. Squirrels must have their own pecking order.
I often wonder what Moses thinks each morning as he approaches the perch that held an empty ear of corn the night before. Does a new ear appear by magic? A miracle? An answer to a squirrel prayer? Or does it “just happen”?
There are a few times when I miss going out the night before. On those days I go out early in the morning. He’s waiting for me, often chattering, always watching from afar. He does not get too close not do I want him to. I think that he somehow knows that I have a hand in his provisions.
I named him Moses because his ear of corn is something like the manna from heaven that was provided by a generous God. At times the Israelites took God’s care for granted. At other times they didn’t really think much about it as it became an expectation.
I think that is how we humans are. At times we are grateful, at times expectant, and too often oblivious to the Presence of the Divine that provides for us “ our daily bread”.
Each time, though, is a glimpse of grace for those who are open to a holy wonder.