The beauty of God's creation surrounds me visually and in stereo. Fort Tryon Park in Upper Manhattan has been transformed by spring into one of the most beautiful places I can imagine. Even an airplane flying up the Hudson River to avoid Manhattan airspace and a police siren down on the Henry Hudson highway cannot rob me of this sanctuary. A little squirrel moves trustingly past me. In this moment all seems right with the world.
Yet I know that such is not the case. I am becoming more aware of injustice and inequality, of suffering and starvation, of disease and cruelty. Whether it be the Holocaust of the last century or its latest manifestation in Darfur--all creation groans--the cyclone killing 10,000 in Myanmar this weekend another grim reminder.
The suffering comes close to home even as a relative deals with a family member going through the degenerative stages of dementia, going from a stately, dignified proper person to a pathetic shadow of their former self.
Even as I exult in the beauty of the glorious hues of the springtime flowers and innocent fragility of the leaves on the trees, I know that when I return in July, and in October, and again in January, that beauty will mature, then age, and then disappear altogether.
I am reminded of words that Jesus spoke once as he gazed at the intricacies of nature: "Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?" (Matthew 6:28b-30, ESV).
The issue was clothing and God's provision. My anxiety today is not about clothes for my body, but clothing for my anxious spirit in light of the realities we face. I believe I am called to do more to bring about the Kingdom of God, but I am inadequate, even naked due to fear, being overwhelmed and wondering what it is that I can really do. I am tired of giving lip service to the great causes that move God's heart. What can I do to bring God's redemptive love to a hurting world? Show me Father how to answer the call to be on the front lines of your movement so that your will is done on earth as it is in heaven.
At Last, He has Come - I read it every year. It’s my prelude to Easter. It gets me every single time. Tears well up when I read the story of the Troubadour who sings his Star-Son...
4 months ago