by Kristin Huffman, Associate Director
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” —1 John 3:1 NIV
Early Easter morning I went on a walk around my quiet neighborhood in San Antonio, Texas, and came across this creature:
I was walking along a path I often walk with my three-year-old granddaughter, Cora, and was keeping an eye out for all kinds of bugs, as we always do. This one caught my eye…certainly not a roly poly, not a caterpillar or one of the many millipedes we see. This one was new to me, and I wasn’t sure what it was. It looked strange, but I snapped a picture to show Cora and went on my way. It wasn’t until later I realized it was a snail without its shell, more commonly known as a slug! First, uggh. Second, I thought about how this slug didn’t have the protection of a shell to keep it safe.
Kind of like how I feel these days. Sort of like a slug without a shell. The slug part is that I’m staying at home in my sweatpants except for an occasional trip to the grocery store or Costco (at the senior hour), and sitting mostly in the same chair—working, having Zoom meetings, keeping up with others.
It’s the part of not having a shell that is significant right now. The shell seems to represent all the things in my life I depend on to sort of make me, well, me…those things that take me out of my house: teaching face-to-face, meeting people for coffee, having in-person meetings, worshipping with the community, traveling, etc. I feel a bit exposed and vulnerable without them right now. Too many of these kinds of activities can keep me from being still, quiet before God, taking lots of time to listen to God’s voice. Not having the social engagement with others has shown me how much I depend on people’s feedback, and how I often let their opinions of me become more important than how Scripture tells me God sees me—without my shell.
One of my favorite scripture passages is Ephesians 1:11-12 in the Message paraphrase: “It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.”
Maybe losing our shells is a good thing. Realizing yet again that it’s in Christ I find out who I am and what I’m living for is really Good News for this slug.
New peace and hope for this liminal time. One other change…sweatpants have changed to shorts. Because…Texas!
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