Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Special Encounter

In my previous post, "A Church Under Construction" (tags : GLBT, Transgender, Spiritual Issues) I told about our heart breaking day at church this past Saturday. However, in the midst of the pain and confusion I experienced, there was a small encounter that should not go unnoticed.

We ate lunch down at the church pavilion at midday, and of course, by that time, Dreamweaver had told me of her meeting with Mother L, and I was now sitting there, stunned and shaken to the core, fighting tears, and struggling to eat. Lunch was quite good - a salad, a roast beef sandwich on Asiago Cheese bread and so forth. As I sat there and wrestled my emotions and my food, I looked to my left and there was a small grasshopper on the picnic table a matter of inches from my arm.

Me being the kind of person I am, I stopped and spoke to it. I then pulled off a tiny piece of greens from my salad (making sure that the bit did not have salad dressing on it - wasn't sure it would agree with the little guy.) and cautiously placed it in front of the grasshopper. I fully expected him to hop away at the motion of my hand; these little insects can be very shy. he didn't. He sat there and eyed my offering, motionless. So, I went back to attempting to eat. When I glanced over a moment later, he had moved forward to the leaf of salad and begun to eat it quite happily! I was thrilled...OK, yeah, it doesn't take much to light up my day - I have a low happiness threshold! Dreamweaver, by this time, as well as other people at the table were now watching our little visitor eat lunch with us.

After lunch was over, Dreamweaver and I lingered alone for a moment before catching up with everyone for the next meditation. We kind of needed to talk, given our situation with Mother L. When we rose to leave, my little grasshopper was just finishing his lunch as well - and he had eaten most of it! Now fully expecting him to hop away, I reached down my hand in front of him, and instead of leaping away at the motion of my hand, he crawled on to my fingers and began exploring his way fearlessly across my hand, nibbling very gently at my finger tips. I was amazed! Grasshoppers have a pretty high startle reflex - any motion sends them hopping. Instead, my little fellow here was practically snuggling up to me, as though thanking me for lunch. I fished my cell phone out and tossed to Dreamweaver, and she got a few pictures of our grasshopper as he communed with me.

Finally, knowing we had to go on in, I stepped over to some long grass by the verge and held my hand down to it. He still did not hop away, but very carefully, after considering where he was for a moment, stepped with great dignity off my hand onto the broad grass blade next to him. As I stood up, he became nearly invisible, his natural camouflage shape and color blending perfectly into the leaf. I could only spot him because I knew where to look. I gently bid him farewell, and thanked him for making my day a little better, for sharing food with me, for existing in this world as the little marvel he was.
I suppose in away, I was really thanking God for that moment of communion with a fellow creature that I share this world with. It was a small wondrous moment of peace, of no great importance, save that it touched my heart, and allowed me to profoundly share a part of my world with the miracle of life. We are all of us such miracles - each of us unique and precious, whether we are straight or gay - which was the issue burning a hole in my heart at that moment. All connection is sacred and holy, even when we struggle at it.

I went back up to the church, with a small measure of peace sheltered in my troubled heart, able to connect once more with others.


  1. Beloved Cameron,

    I think it was one of the Lord/Lady's small blessings. And perhaps a lesson, too. We wrestled in the moment with the issue of being visibly a lesbian couple. Like the grasshopper, some people would rather look away, or squash us, or run us off. Instead, we look to the church for nourishment. We go right up to take communion, not hanging our head in shame. Like the grasshopper, we are completely visible in contrast to the picnic table, we don’t hide who we are or the nature of our relationship. Like the grasshopper who was on the pavilion rather in the grass, we are a little out of our element. Moreover, like the grasshopper, we trust ourselves to God’s hands. And like the grasshopper, despite our misgivings, we have thus far been carried to safety.

  2. I think that might have been God's way of teaching you how to deal with the situation at hand.

    Sit gently with one another...offer food and kindness.. extend a hand...

    People will eventually come and sniff you over...and learn that you're not to be feared or reviled.
    and that you can abide peacefully and pleasantly together.

  3. The first though on reading this was the verse in Matthew:
    'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

    A very nice moment with nature.