I love walking early in the morning with my Great Dane Thor. A few times a week we get to head out into the open fields and quiet woods for much-needed exercise.
Several weeks ago, on one of those beautiful walks, I found myself in a conversation with a stranger which I have never seen and strangely with whom I have never exchanged a word…
Thor and I regularly come by a bench in the middle of a prairie. On this particular morning, I sat down for a few minutes, closed my eyes and let the early morning winter sun warm my face. When I open my eyes, I noticed on the ground in front of me, in the melting snow, something shiny. I dug around with my feet and found a bunch of pennies. Without thinking much, I picked them up and arranged them in the shape of a cross on the bench’s armrest. Then I got up and headed back on my walk.
The other day I passed by the same bench and to my surprise found the cross still on the armrest. However, when I looked closer I noticed that it wasn’t exactly the way I had left it. Two pennies had been added to the center. Without hesitation, I grabbed one more penny and placed it on the two in middle and kept on walking. I smiled knowing that I was “conversing” with someone.
Yesterday morning I headed out again. This time determined for the bench and the cross. I wasn’t disappointed and found it rearranged. The pennies in the center were gone. Someone was trying to communicate with me. I thought for a moment how I could make my presence known. Quickly I turned all the pennies face up, with the exception of the center; I kept it heads-down. I headed for the rest of my walk – thinking for a long time about my Heavenly Father and the way He communicates with me.
Though I have not seen my Heavenly Father nor heard Him audibly say words to me, He leaves me messages everywhere. He communicates clearly through many different ways. The Bible speaks most clearly about God, who He is, what His intentions and plans are for humanity and even for my life. God also uses other people who know Him to speak truth into my life. They see things I can’t and relay messages from my Father to my heart. While I walk I often experience God’s messages for me in nature. He shows me His immeasurable power in stars and in the tiniest plant. He shows me how He cares for the birds and assures me He sees me, too.
However, the greatest message of God to humanity is the message of the cross, the Gospel. Here God showed His love for us in the most unexpected way. His flawless character mingled together with His loving intentions for us. His perfection painfully displayed our imperfections. Jesus Christ and His death on the cross was the most costly provision God had to offer to fallen people and their sins.
1 Corinthians 1:18
For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing,
but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
(pictures and devotional, Heidi Viars, 2018)