I've mentioned before how much I love squirrels-- remember? An interesting squirrel fact: if a squirrel believes someone has watched him bury a nut, he'll dig it up and re-bury it elsewhere. He assumes everyone wants to take his nut, and he's secretive and peculiar in response. He'll freeze, paw-deep in his soil safe-deposit box, cheeks bulging to triple their size, and try to look nonchalant. What nut?

I get squirrelly with God sometimes. While I was applying for the LTS/LGH Chaplaincy program, I was doing it with open paws. Whether I was accepted or not, I was in God's hands, and I didn't need to grasp at any particular outcome.

Since I've been accepted, I've gotten nervous that God might notice I've found such a delightful treat and take it away. (I bet I don't have to tell you how much this attitude interferes with gratitude.) Isn't it ridiculous? I'm just as goofy and absurd as those little bushy-tailed creatures. I don't really think that God wants to take good things away from me, any more than I want to steal someone's acorn.

I could give myself a stern lecture, but giggling and rolling my eyes is enough to make me less grasping, more open. Even if something happens to my plans, God will be with me, and there is good ahead. The mental picture of myself, cheeks full and eyes wide with faux-innocence, is enough to restore perspective. Surely, I make God laugh.


  1. I think I need to print this out and bind it to my arm.

  2. Love it. I stopped to talk with a squirrel today. It was a lovely few minutes.

  3. I know a Jesuit who teaches workshops on "hard emotions." I have tried to explain to him that he should do one on joy, since it can be a hard emotion for people too, not just anger and such...

  4. Charlotte: You need a phylactery!

    MB: That sounds like an excellent conversation.

    Stratoz: I <3 Fr. Bill. And, I agree with you-- I've been saying for years that a) we're bad with joy, and b) we're PARTICULARLY bad with other people's joy.


"So keep fightin' for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don't you forget to have fun doin' it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through kickin' ass and celebratin' the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was."
-Saint Molly Ivins