Sunday, June 8, 2014

God in a Lizard?

I took a trip to Florida to visit with my mom, who turns 80 this year. (No, I've no idea how she got so old!) I love the area she's in, full of palm trees, boats, water, rum, and lizards. The little lizards are everywhere and so much fun to watch.

My first morning there, I took a walk out under a long bridge across the IntraCoastal, fascinated by a sandcrab, jellyfish, and a crow that was unafraid. I was waiting a long time for a boat to come under the bridge and as I began to turn away to head back, I heard a splash behind me and saw a dolphin swimming past me. I grabbed a quick video and was just struck at how God had just met me, reassuring me that He was there, and He knew where I was. Odd the thoughts that come to us sometimes. But I just knew.

On my way back to my room, I wandered around an old marina that had closed down, and as I came around one of the abandoned buildings, a rather large and colorful lizard popped out in front of me. He was about a foot long and orange, yellow and black, but I couldn't grab a picture since he wouldn't hold still long enough and he finally escaped into some brush. As I described him later to my mom, sister, and her husband, no one knew what it was, and they seemed perplexed by it. They didn't exactly call me a liar, but I could tell they barely believed me!

I spent the next three days searching for him! Alas, he was nowhere to be found. I saw more jellyfish, but no more dolphins, even the crow was gone. I was determined that he'd be back and I'd find him. I got up early to match the time I first saw him, even retraced my steps to see if he'd pop out like before. On the final morning, I realized it wasn't going to happen. I went back and packed up my room, and was backing out of the parking lot, when all of a sudden, There He Is! He popped up onto a curb and just sat there, as if to say "I'm Here".  Long enough for me to take pictures. And I thought, wow, isn't that funny. Here, I've been looking all this time, and just when I give up, He pops out. He finds me. And isn't that the story of God?

After sending my sister the picture, she immediately sent back a link and said, "Oh, that's the African Rainbow Lizard." And I wondered, "So why didn't anyone believe that I'd seen it?" And I thought, well, that IS the story of God, isn't it? We who do know Him and have 'seen' him aren't usually believed by those inclined to disbelief.

I learned that this lizard isn't native to Florida...but he's here now. Kind of like God. He's not from Earth, but He's here now. And lest you think I'm a bit whacked to think that He came to me in a lizard, the Bible records Him in a bush, as a donkey, in a cloud, and in a whisper. And you know the oddest thing He's come in? Me. Colossians 1:27 from The Message: "The mystery in a nutshell is just this: Christ is in you...". Amazing. Even moreso than He can come in a dolphin or a lizard, He appears in me.

And I'm left to wonder: just how hard do I search for Him? I frankly don't search for Him as hard as I searched for that lizard. And here's the gospel: even when I quit searching, He never stops searching for me. And He lets me 'find Him'. God is so weird, thankfully! And He's colorful!