The One Inside us All


I have been home all day, due to the wood around the chimney being replaced and painted. It’s late afternoon now and I wandered out onto the deck to see how the work was coming along. A man named Joseph was on the roof cleaning one of my skylights and I struck up a conversation with him.

He is a nice-looking black man, 28 years old. I told him about how I had 2 pieces of cardboard left and his boss asked if I had any cardboard. We laughed about that. We laughed about me living in this house so long and not knowing how many skylights I have. (Three).

Soon enough we realized that God was in charge of this conversation when he told me his first child died at birth in 2011. I told him I had lost a child, too. Turns out he is a spiritual man. He told a story his pastor related to him. He said he used to watch little rabbits feeding in his backyard often. One day he saw a hawk circling overhead and yelled at the little rabbits until they ran away. The pastor said, “Those rabbits didn’t know I had a reason behind my yelling at them. It was for their own good.” And so God works in the same way. We don’t always know the “why” of a situation.

As we talked, I told him about the two hawk feathers I had “found” in my back and front yards. I told him about the shaman that lifted my grief. And he told me his wife had given birth to their second son, who is now two. He said one day his son mentioned his brother and pointed to the sky. His parents were stunned. They asked, “Was it your younger brother or your older brother?” He said it was his older brother. Children know but they soon forgot. They tried to question him more, but he had forgotten what he said.

We talked a while more about spirituality and how it must get down to the nitty gritty of self-witnessing. These days I experience conversations like this more and more. You know the kind I mean. The kind where you initiate it and suddenly you know it was on purpose. Gratitude for the One inside us all.

Vicki Woodyard

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