Saturday, January 23, 2010
I can buy this:
She is looking for apples.
She takes slices from my hand. Puts her little paws on my fingers, sniffs around (I can feel her whiskers!), then gingerly takes the apple slice in her teeth and backs off to eat it. Ditto the pecan halves.
I get goose bumps every time.
She is the only squirrel among the half dozen or so in my garden who does not flee when I open the door.
But I recognize her mostly because she is very nearly bald.
Skin conditions that cause hair loss in squirrels are not generally fatal (according to Purdue University), but facing a winter without fur can be. Squirrel Girl may die of exposure before spring and I will mourn her passing.
But she will not die of starvation. Not on my watch. ...
There ... are two ways to study Creation: Macrotheology, I maintain, is the study of — the search for — God, the Creator of everything.
Macrotheologists study the holy texts of their culture "religiously." They become conversant in their faith's major tenets. They seek out the greater truths hidden in their temporally bound and sometimes politically charged rhetoric. ...
Microtheology, I maintain, accepts there is much about creation that is outside human understanding: The more we learn the less we know. ...
Microtheologists do not worship nature instead of God. Rather, we have a profound sense of stewardship ... a profound love for all of creation, because of God.
We do not try to mold God in our image to suit political agendas. We make no claim to having God's phone number.
This is microtheology: I may never actually see God, but I can fill the belly of a small squirrel who is in trouble.
I have done much the same with the various cats who have been my companions over the years.
I was going to say that it is a perfect example of the Golden Rule - do unto others as you would have them do unto you, whether man or small, furry beast. But I didn't do it - and neither, I suspect, does the author - with any expectation of reciprocity from other animals. Some of them would kill me as prey without a second thought, I know, but that makes no difference.
The more hard-nosed atheists, whether Old or New, will no doubt dismiss that as rank sentimentality but they know what they can do...
But a cute cuddley squirrel? Allowing you to feed it and gingerly taking small pieces of food directly from your hand? I LOVE that! I know someone who raised two squirrels, they were fun growing up. We played with them by holding a beach blanket between us, and the squirrels ran fast as lightning up and down our pants and across the blanket, on the top or BOTTOM side of the blanket, faster and faster. They loved the game.