Have you ever been mooned by a mandrill?
If not, you're missing out.
God painted their very patoots.
Their heads and their hindquarters are outright rainbows.
The youngest turned two this past weekend....and so we braved the zoo on Saturday.
The giraffes always send us reeling - with all their height and spots and oddness.
And the petting goats always ring in glee for the littles.
And the farm pigs just make us hold our noses.
But the mandrills.....
it's just flat out art on an ----------. :)
And then there are the fruit doves.
Oh my heavens the fruit doves.
The bird exhibit was an art exhibit, friends.
Just look at the types of winged goodness we witnessed there...
That teal beauty is a swallow tanager.
The color in the above image does not show the brilliance of this bird's hue.
It was pure radiance marked out on feathers.
And just think - I had blazed right past the bird building on my earlier visits to the zoo.
At my own expense, indeed.
The creativity I saw on Saturday - ushered in much awe to my soul.
Oh, everything to me lately has been pointing to Him.
Even in the midst of heavy worries and bodily pains - He is near. Especially near.
This type of seeing and feeling is honestly not the norm for this admitted doubter - so I'm enjoying the intimacy with God my bolstered faith is bringing me.
But to give you an honest glimpse into my brokenness and my bent....
My raw tendency is to freak out when a steady faith arrives.
Because I start worrying about why God would think it fit to furnish me with extra faith in this season. I start thinking that something horrible might be on the horizon - and I'll need His nearness. Or I start to think that some devastation of loss will occur....where assurance of faith will be needed.
It's cra cra but true. Help me, Jesus.
So as far as the new year goes, friends -I'm leaning in. Leaning in for truth.
Not my own nutty version of truth. Not my made up imaginary fear-filled truth. Not what everyone else says is or isn't the truth.
In Bible study, yes. In fellowship, yes. In teachings, yes. But in prayer.....mostly.
Because that age old practice of communicating with God - it's a two way staircase. Not only do we pour out praise there (for things like art covered animals), and petition for self and others there, and ask for directions and guidance there - but we also hear from Him there.
He speaks there.
And He heals there.
And He reveals there.
And He loves there.
So I implore you...
Go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. (Matthew 6:6)
You won't always want to. And you won't always feel into it. And it won't always be awesome.
But it's worth it. Those times when He does speak right to your soul....when He does provide....when He does the miraculous....all as a result of asking and spending time with Him - the daily moments in the quiet seeking Him....are.worth.it.
May it open our eyes to beauty. And our hearts to love. And our whole lives to radical healing.
Love and animal awe and fruitful prayer moments to you all.