I have to confess something: My 6-hour trip to the Birmingham Museum of Art came as an absolute necessity for me when I was planning my trip from Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, back home. Looking online at the artwork in the museum, the absolute necessity came when I came across this sculpture in its garden:
The sculptured rat called to me the minute I encountered him or her online. But it wasn’t enough for me to encounter the sculptured rat online. I knew I had to visit this rat and make a connection. And make a connection is exactly what we did, as these pictures confess:
You see, the way Fleming sculptured this rat was, for me, a rat who is praying. I explained to my mom what I witnessed in the body language of the rat sculpture, and my mom said, “maybe the rat wanted food?” Maybe. But not for me! This rat was praying to God the same prayer I often pray to God. That is why it was an absolute necessity for me to join this rat in the garden; we needed this time together to pray together. This is what we prayed:
“Dear Father God, thank you for bringing me and my little rat friend together in this sacred and graced garden. We have a prayer for You, Father God: Please help us BOTH to pray for BOTH Your humans AND nonhuman animals. My little rat friend here, especially, needs Your Help, because he or she is despised by so many and often called a “pest.” There is nothing that is a “pest” about my little rat friend. If anything, he or she is a “best” friend of mine. Thank you for allowing BOTH of us this special prayer for BOTH Your humans AND nonhuman animals. Please take care of me and my little rat friend and all my little rat friends all over this planet You, Father God, have created for BOTH! May I be able to come and visit my little rat friend here in this garden again very soon. We BOTH pray this prayer in the Wonderful and Precious and “Friend of Rats” Name of Jesus Christ. This prayer is answered by my faith and my belief. Please help us BOTH, Father God, where our faith and our belief are lacking. Amen.”
“You drove 6 hours for a rat? Are you crazy?” If driving 6 hours to see my little rat friend sculpture is “crazy,” then, by God, I am indeed CRAZY!😁
For all my little rat friends,
Timothy J. Verret
PS: I was about to publish this post until this little girl, Avery, who is staying at the hotel where I work, came up to me, saw the picture of the rat sculpture, and said, “that’s human hands!!!!” WHAT???? She’s right! Look at the picture again, as I did. Notice how the skin of my little rat friend is NOT the same as the skin of his or her hands. YES, they ARE human hands! WOW! This makes the rat sculpture REALLY come alive, because me and my little rat friend BOTH have human hands and we BOTH pray to the same loving and merciful God! WE BOTH ARE THE SAME, despite any protests to “the same.” We prayed in that garden together with 4 (my spiritual number) human hands! And our prayer has been answered by Father God because this little girl, Avery, saw something I did not even see initially.
“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb,
The leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
The calf and the young lion and the fatling together;
And a little child shall lead them.” – Isaiah 11:6
And a little child named Avery just led Timothy to realize something he didn’t even see beforehand.
Thank you, Avery! 😉
And thank You, Father God, and thank you, my little rat friend! 🐀