The First Time I Spoke With God

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I remember it so well. I was about 4 or 5 years old, and I was playing in the dirt in my backyard in Memphis, Tennessee.

I remember scooping dirt with a spoon, and putting it in a little cup, and I thinking, “God, I don’t pray very often, and I can’t read yet, so I can’t read the Bible.”

So I told God, “Every time I talk to myself, or think to myself in my head, I’ll really be talking to You.”

And that was how it was.

I talked to God about my pet rollie-pollies, and the little house I was building them out of bricks I’d pulled from our patio. I talked to God while attempting to dig a hole through our yard into China. I talked to God about the onion grass I liked to chew on, and whether or not wild strawberries were really meant to be eaten.

… Fast forward about 6 years …

I was wandering around our big backyard in Austin, Texas. My parent’s rented a house there, and it sat on about 3 wooded acres, which were surrounded by pasture land.

As I walked along, I was singing the hymn, How Great Thou Art.

As I sang the lines “… When through the woods and forest glades I wander, and hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees,” a chorus of singing birds flew over my head and disappeared into the foliage of a Juniper tree, where they continued to twitter.

I was a bit startled, but I continued, “… When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur, and hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze …” and the wind picked up, and rustled the tall golden grass.

I was beginning to feel like I was in a music video. Or like Snow White, when she sings and all the little animals gather round her. I got chills, knowing that God was all around me; imagining that nature was singing to God with me.

And then I looked up.

There, not 15 feet away, was a magnificent buck. His eyes were like onyx — so black and shining. His antlers were tall and majestic … And he just stood there … watching me with the most peaceful, knowing, expectant gaze.

Photo by Manuel Antonio, Brady, Texas

She's a Texan stay-at-home mom of three who listens to heavy metal and likes black licorice. She's baking, piano-playing poet who loves fantasy literature, Star Trek, and will slay you at Scrabble. But even as she's changing diapers, sweeping up Cheerios, and cleaning peanut butter off the cat, Jennifer is thinking about writing. Whether she's crafting her next humorous parenting anecdote, composing a new song, or contemplating a profound theological concept, 87.42% of Jennifer's writing is done in her head.
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