For now [in this time of imperfection] we see in a mirror dimly [a blurred reflection, a riddle, an enigma], but then [when the time of perfection comes we will see reality] face to face. Now I know in part [just in fragments], but then I will know fully, just as I have been fully known [by God].1 Corinthians 13:12 AMP
A chipmunk wandered into a new forest looking for food other than the bitter grass that plagued his. Unfamiliar with the laws of this forest and dreadfully hungry, the chipmunk looked for a generous soul that would share food with him. The first he met was a tortoise.
“Hello my strolling friend!” The chipmunk waved to the tortoise. It took time for the tortoise to fully look at the chipmunk. “Do you know of where I can get some food?”
“There is a tree that flows with honey and berries.” The tortoise’s voice crackled like dry leaves as a frown grew on her face. “But I am always to slow to get some. Beware the crafty hare. That trickster always puts pins around it to keep others away from it.” A tremor of anger rattled the tortoise’s shell. “I must hurry and beat that trickster so I do not have to eat grass again.” The tortoise turned and huffed loudly as she pushed herself to go faster. The chipmunk only stared with a raised eyebrow.
“Would like some help, friend?” The chipmunk offered as it strolled to catch up to the tortoise.
“No, I need concentration.” The tortoise grounded out. “It would be helpful if you leave.”
“As you wish!” The chipmunk waved to the tortoise and ran ahead. Though when the chipmunk ran into the trees, it tripped on a hairy root.
“Oy!” The chipmunk looked around and saw a hare laying on the root glaring at him. “Watch where ya steppin’ pipsqueak.” The hare huffed and closed his eyes.
“I apologize my napping friend.” The chipmunk stood and wiped himself off. “Do you know where I can get some food?”
“Ya fend for yerself, pipsqueak.” The hare replied without opening his dark eyes.
“I see. So did you leave pins at the tree of honey and berries?” The chipmunk inquired innocently. The hare let out a groan and looked to where the chipmunk arrived.
“That old kook! I’ve told her it ain’t me. It’s that dang raccoon. She can be one lyin’ and mean spirit.” The hare spit before continuing. “Always buzzin’ and chitterin’ so loud my ears ring when I get close to that darn tree. She can have it. I’ll be fine with my grass.” The hare pulled a blade out roughly and stuck it in his mouth. Both he and the chipmunk winced. The chipmunk remembered the bitter taste of grass in his old forest.
“Well,” the chipmunk backed away slowly. “I shall leave you to enjoy your grass, my friend.”
“Ya do that, pipsqueak.” The hare spat again. With that as his dismissal, the chipmunk left and went further into the forest. The smell of honey and berries permeated the air. Distracted by the sweet perfume, he almost ran into a tree.
“Stop!” A long paw grabbed the chipmunk before he could hit the tree. The chipmunk looked up to see a raccoon looking down at him. “Oh! Sorry!” The raccoon quickly let go of the chipmunk and fretted with her paws. “I didn’t mean to get so close, it’s just that you were about to run into that tree and that would be a really really bad thing and you would get hurt and then people will think I did it and they already don’t like me because they think I’m guarding that tree and I’m not! I’m just eating grass like everyone else.” The raccoon said quickly. It took a few blinks for the chipmunk to process all of the words.
“So, you know of the tree with honey and berries as well, my rescuing friend?” The raccoon nodded at the chipmunk.
“Oh yes!” The raccoon’s paws began to gesture to her words. “But I don’t get close because of the bear, who’s as big as a tree and as terrifying as thunder when he growls because I have gotten too close. One time I heard him roar and it shook my bones. The only thing I haven’t seen are the bear’s eyes, but I bet they are red with the blood of the animals that he has killed that get close to that tree. I’ve told hare and tortoise this but they think I’m lying to keep them away from the tree. Do you think I’m lying? Because I’m not! It’s the bear really really!” The raccoon pointed up toward a stone cave further upwards.
“Well, we shall see about that.” The chipmunk hummed at the cave. He looked back to the raccoon. “Would you like to join me in clearing your name, my friend?” The raccoon shook her head frantically.
“No, no, no, no, no, no! The bear is too scary!” With that the raccoon ran off.
“Very well, then.” The chipmunk turned and headed toward the cave. The smell of honey and berries grew stronger as he drew near. But there was also a loud rumbling that shook the earth. It took a bit but the chipmunk reached the mouth of the cave and knocked. “Excuse me, my rumbling friend, I am looking for a bear.”
“You found him.” A low voice rumbled out this time. There were slow stomping movements until the chipmunk was face to face with the snout of a bear. A brown bear with big brown eyes. “What do you want?”
“Well, I would like some honey and berries from a tree that I have has been mentioned over and over. But it seems that everyone’s efforts have gone to waste because of pricks, buzzing, and now you.” The chipmunk gestured to the bear. “I was wondering if you had any food or insight to give me?”
“Bees.” The bear huffed.
“Bees?” The chipmunk repeated and the bear nodded.
“The bees are finnicky and do not like anyone coming near their hive. I have been making dealings with them so that they would share their food with the other animals. They did not like that suggestion.” The bear showed his large paws. The chipmunk crawled closer and saw that there were large welts on the paws.
“That looks extremely painful.” The chipmunk’s statement turned the rumble into a chuckle.
“It was. But they did give me some extra honey and berries in an apology. Would you like some?” The bear shifted a bit, and the chipmunk could see berries overflowing in rocks full of honey.
“Yes, please!” The chipmunk groaned, earning another chuckle from the bear.
“Come onto on my shoulder and I will take you in, my weary friend.” The bear offered.
“Thank you, friend.” The chipmunk sighed and smiled before he jumped onto the bear’s shoulder. As they went, the chipmunk wondered something. “If you had enough honey and berries to share, why aren’t the others here?” He asked the bear as they approached the food.
“Well, they never asked or cared enough to listen to each other to come here.” The bear supplied. The chipmunk hummed as he slid down the bear. Together, they enjoyed the berries and honey, sharing stories as friends do.
This story came to me when I heard a message that pointed something out to me. Stephen in Acts chapters 6 and 7, was around 29 when he died. Most people would hear that and think how sad. But that’s only part of the story. At the end of Stephen’s life, a man named Saul saw Stephen’s death. Then that man, Saul, became a legend named Paul. The sad part of the story is only just a part. How many times are we blocked from seeing the blessings God provides for us and others, because we’re only focused on part of the story? We only see what is obvious to us and make assumptions.
I even saw a movie today where everyone was discussing what the main character was or was not, but until someone close to the main character asked the main character what he was, did the viewers and that person finally understand, what he is was only part of the story. What he was, led to what he was meant to do, which was the point of the whole movie. We could discuss what he is or is not till our faces our blue, but it won’t change the end of the movie because that was only part of the movie. We only know part. We only focus on our part sometimes.
But God knows all. And it isn’t until we are willing to come face to face with the truth, with Him, that we can see outside of our part. God helps us put the puzzle together and see the bigger picture, to see Him.