“Deer" Congregation

May 4, 2014

It is the perfect time of year to sit on the front porch and strum the guitar. The evenings are cool and the insects are still a bit groggy – not having ramped up their blood-lust traditions just yet. I enjoy the brief seasons in both the fall and spring to serenade both heaven and neighbor with these impromptu worship services. Not once have the authorities been alerted nor the hounds released.

Tonight’s vesper service was joined by a friendly herd of deer that came up the driveway toward the music, two by two. Soon, I had a congregation of ten or more “deer” souls in attendance.  I offered refreshments to my guests in the form of un-mowed spring grass and lots and lots of dandelion greens. They grazed a few feet away. Together we worshipped.

I have had a number of these close encounters with creation over the years.  A couple of summers ago, as my father and I were loading up our clubs after a round of golf, I sensed a presence at my feet. I looked down to see a fox sitting quietly a foot or two away. He didn’t seem to have a care in the world. And since he didn’t – I didn’t. He was so beautiful with his red coat, black feet, and huge foxy grin. I have had similar encounters with elk, bear and a mama moose with her calf. Somehow, a timeout is called by heaven from that untrusting enmity between nature and man. For a few moments we experience the joy of Eden.

We ache for this. If we are really honest we ache to reconcile with all creation. The Apostle Paul discloses to his readers that nature aches as well. In Romans 8 he speaks of all creation groaning in eager anticipation of the reconciliation of man to beast and then of all creation to heaven - an Edenic reset. Lambs will snuggle up to lions and young children will play with vipers.  For those who have ears to hear and eyes to see, these whispers of a reconciled creation  - to wit: a yard full of peaceful deer congregants – are meant to encourage and attract. It is the picture of how it once was and how it once more shall be. One day, as Lady Julian of Norwich prophesied, "All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.”  

Until then, I pray God grant you both a brush and a holy hush with His creation and yards full of furry worshippers.   


© Patrick Crossing 2015