Some people do not like squirrels, and that's ok. But for one man they were a blessing. How can a squirrel be a blessing, you may ask? For one who lived in a storage shed, not much breathing space inside, extremely uncomfortable and lonely, it was refreshing for him to get out and go to our downtown park to feel the breeze and breathe in fresh air. He would go early in the morning before many people came into work. It would be just him and the squirrels. He would always have a granola bar or a bag of potato chips and he would feed these squirrels.
They got a salty breakfast and he got friendship and companionship from them. He told me that when people did start coming into town, they would walk past him and not even acknowledge he was there. He told me he could be a bug and they would just step on him in passing.
Greg was lonely and hurting and the squirrels gave him something he needed that he had not been getting from people at the time. Greg was homeless and the squirrels didn't care.
One day while he and I were on the bench downtown, I was telling him about a book I had read and the challenge the author put out there to list 1000 blessings. I told him about the concept of when we recognize the blessings, we draw in closer to God, the giver of the gifts. Greg got excited and said even he could do that. I asked him to name some and right off the bat without even thinking he said, "The squirrels". I smiled and asked "How are they a blessing?"
Greg replied, "You know, I haven't lived a very good life and I'm sorry for that and I just want to be able to give back, but I can't do anything. I don't know how. But I can feed the squirrels. That's a good thing, right?" Again, I smiled, with tears stinging behind my eyes, and said, "Yes, that's a very good thing!"
Later, after going home, I kept thinking about Greg and the squirrels. Man did not want much to do with him, but the squirrels came to him all the time and Greg got joy out of feeding them. They made him smile. After awhile, Greg wanted me to feed them. I was scared of them at first. But he kept telling me how to hold the chip and not flinch when the little furry guy would come up. After many tries, the squirrel finally got my chip and Greg and I hollored, "YEAH!" I think Greg was tickled that he taught me something. Greg taught me much! And I will be trying to put it into words as time goes on.
Squirrels and blessings. . .only from God!
eating Greg's potato chip