Recently, I was honored to have an opportunity to learn about the heart of Jesus
and what we look like in His eyes. The story happened two weeks ago. As spring is
coming, my neighbors, squirrels and a chipmunk, are becoming very active in my
One sunny afternoon, I brought some nuts to feed them. One brave squirrel with
some dots on the back came up to me. This squirrel grabbed the nut with his teeth on
my hand gently and politely. I love this squirrel because he trusted me enough to
come closer to me. I named him Peter (Luke 5:1-11).
As time goes by, another squirrel found Peter was getting food from me. This
squirrel really wanted some nuts, but she is very cautious and shy. I am glad that she is
being alert as a wild animal, so she can protect herself generally. It took her a while
to trust me. She ran to me and ran away immediately. But every time, she was
coming a little closer to me than the last time.
She repeated this pattern many times. It is fun for me to see that sometimes, she
pretended she was not coming for me; she went around to observe me.
This great difference between Peter and this lady squirrel is showing up. Peter
came to me frequently, so somehow, he ate more nuts than the lady squirrel. Peter was
so full that he lay his belly down on the ground. With no intention of me being biased,
Peter got more food.
This observation makes me think that maybe this is the reason why some
Christians receive more grace and more intimacy with God. Some Christians receive
relatively less because they come to God less closely and less frequently. They ask
less, so they receive less.
Nevertheless, His grace is incomparable and we cannot quantify grace. How
much grace God gives is according to God’s severity. We all pray for more grace and
blessing, but what I want to clarify is that to the people who ask for more, God gives
more. They get to experience more of His richness and power as a child of God. They
got to experience more victory and breakthrough in their daily lives. This is more than
being baptized and attending church every Sunday.
Then you might ask if is usual for people who come to God less closely and less
frequently to feel starved and in need? My answer is No. For the lady squirrel, I drop
the nut on the ground to make sure the lady squirrel can eat. I sat on the ground and
waited for her. I pretended that I am not looking at her, so she could feel comfortable
to grab the nut.
Guess what? While I was feeding Peter and the lady squirrel, a tiny chipmunk
came out from nowhere. He rushed to me with super fast speed, and ran away with a
super fast speed. Without a word, I understood that this chipmunk wanted some nuts
as well. So later, I threw a nut to him after little while of eye contact. Likewise, God
does not require us inflexibly to only go to God in a certain way or only eat the nut
from his hands. When we fail to pray, He still sees us. God does not neglect our needs
and hearts, most of the time. He understands and accepts the way we interact with
If I called the trusting squirrel Peter, I prefer to call this chipmunk Thomas (John
20:24-31). Through feeding both Peter, lady squirrel, and Thomas, I had a glimpse of
the heart of Jesus. I understood why Jesus loved Peter, though Peter made a lot of
mistakes. I understood why Jesus gently showed Thomas His nail-scarred hands and
feet instead of harshly rebuking his little faith. The heart of Jesus is full of grace and
mercy, gentle and meek.
I am aware that this story might not be the perfect story to describe our
relationship with our Father in heaven, but I share this story for two reasons. First, this
story raised my self-knowledge. Just as it is not natural for wild animals to build trust
and relationship with giant humans, so it is not natural for humans with a sinful nature
to build trust and relationship with God. Though people with a sinful nature was not
God’s original plan when they were created, we are used to doing things in our own
ways with our human strength. We are used to living a life without God. Therefore,
after Adam and Eve sinned, it is extremely unfamiliar and unnatural to live with God
in a trusting relationship. Sometimes, we doubt, fear, hide, and hesitate.
Second, this story raised my knowledge of God. As I stopped trying to control the
squirrels’ action exactly the way I expect them to do, I allowed them to be them. I
started to understand their limitation, lack of faith, trust, and anxiety. Furthermore, I
found myself full of compassion. I did not compare squirrel Peter and chipmunk
Thomas. I did not look down on chipmunk Thomas due to his little faith. Likewise,
our Father in heaven longs for us to go to Him and trust Him, but He understands it
takes time for us to trust Him. He understands that we’ve been living without Him for
generations, so we don’t know how to get along with Him and live with Him. Hence,
God guides us and teaches us with grace and patience. God does not force us to go to
him, instead He attracts us to Him. Just like nuts attracts squirrels and chipmunks to
me, God the father attracts us to him with His mercy and righteousness. We have the
assurance from the Lord’s Prayer. We can ask for our needs with confidence, but not
begging for mercy. God knows what kind of people we are and still loves us. God
approaches us with patience, in a way we can understand and accept.
When I was feeding the squirrels, I was looking into their eyes closely. I felt so
much joy when I saw them receive and eat what I gave them. They did not do
anything special or great to please me, but they already looked perfectly beautiful and
precious in my eyes. It help me to understand how God views me.
The close attention and passion from God are
like a fire. When I look into God’s eyes, I find myself in it. Though sometimes, I still
fall down and become weak, I am flawless in God’s eyes. If you are a parent, I assume
you understand what I am saying, the feeling when you look at your children with
close attention and love.
Ps: This writing has no intention to encourage people to feed wild squirrels.