During Lent, I'm going to be answering WIGIAT? Where Is God In All This? So, here goes 40 days worth of telling you where God has shown up in my life.
This morning, as I was walking my dog Raven, what must have been 20 or 30 ducks landed in the little canal by our house. I stopped to check them out, because I like ducks (there were no blue ducks so I still haven't seen one of those). What I noticed was the ducks sort of dipping themselves in the water, I think to get themselves wet.
Of course, there's a baptism connection here, and the water and getting to see the beautiful ducks reminded me of the lens God gives us in our baptism. In that water, God gives to us cross shaped glasses, and with these glasses, God gives us the grace to see the world with the same love that Jesus saw it with. A good thing.
But to be honest, in the moment of watching those ducks, I wondered if the frigid water bothered them, and I thought it was the last place I'd want to be. In a way, the baptized life can be viewed like that too. Do I really want to be a follower of the guy who says sell everything you have and give the money to the poor, and turn the other cheek? Do I want to follow someone who will lead me to the cross? Do I want to follow someone whose first generation of followers ended up getting killed on his behalf? (11/12 that is.) I want to do that about as much as I wanted to be a duck and jump in the freezing water this morning.
Thankfully, God hasn't left that up to me. Through the Church, God called my parents to bring me for the gift of baptism, and through them and the community of faith, formed me in that gift. This hasn't made me desire a horrible death anymore, but it has slowly formed me to see that the way of the Cross, the way of following Jesus isn't really the way to death, but the way to life.
I'm not sure if those ducks like the cold water, but I'm guessing they probably can't live without it, and after the initial shock their bodies must get used to it. We humans are like ducks that won't go in the water, because we're too afraid of the cold to experience the life it gives. It's a good thing then, that God doesn't leave the decision up to us. God gives us the gift of grace, which by the power of the Holy Spirit brings us to that water, whether it is through parents, friends, or a community of love.
Yesterday, we remembered that we are dust. Today, I remember that I am a duck...who doesn't like water, but God has bathed me in it anyway!