I have a near constant symphony in my backyard– endless choruses of birdsong! This is not a complaint by any means! They fly about – from hummingbirds to woodpeckers – happily flying from tree to tree, flower to feeder, then gathering ‘round the birdbath. At one time, I would grab my camera to capture the activity; now I am content with listening to the sweet gifts they offer.
These are anxious times. I worry about everything and everyone. I notice when I pause to listen to the singing of these feathered backyard visitors, my anxiety diminishes. All the worry in the world won’t take away the fact that the coronavirus exists. But your worry and concern can lessen in these backyard moments of song. Try it. Listen to the birdsong; watch the robins and bluejays and sparrows. Enjoy!
God has created some beautiful spring days for us to enjoy this week: light-filled, gentle breezes, birdsong and the smell of lilacs filled the air. While grateful, I am just as grateful for the gray of today. It gives my eyes some rest. With non-anterior ischemic optic neuropathy, light plays an important role in how I ‘see’ the world around me. The days that are most light-filled, I struggle to ‘see’ the most. I am what it tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “Be thankful in all circumstances…”
Such a beautiful spring day! God’s brush strokes paint our landscapes in a variety of ways – from the sky above with stunning sunrises and sunsets, to the fields and valleys that surround us.
For me, mostly how I ‘see’ my surroundings, are without lines: much of the time I ‘see’ the world in blobs of color. When I look up, with my face toward the sky, and I feel the warmth of the sun on my face, I believe the sky is blue. When I step outside and it is damp and cool, and I do not feel the sun’s warmth, I imagine clouds are above. I really cannot tell what kind of flower I am seeing without getting very, very up close and personal.
Passing by a field a few days ago, a bright yellow caught my attention. Miles of goldenrod in a field caused my driver to stop so we could look at the amazing golden landscape in front of us. Only God could paint such beauty!
Today is the first day of a new month. A new beginning. Many times, new beginnings offer us a feeling of hope and joy. Think about it – a new house, a new year, a flower bursting through the earth for the first time. With new beginnings comes a particular kind of energy and a sense of anticipation that something good will happen. Even though we are still social distancing, wearing masks and sheltering at home, I hope this first day of a brand new month brings you hope and joy in some way.
April showers, bring May flowers…remember that childhood saying? The poem is credited it to both Thomas Tusser and Geoffrey Chaucer. No matter. It is raining now and flowers are already in bloom! While I appreciate both, I like to think of each rain drop as a prayer, especially during this unusual time.
The disciples’ journey with Jesus was paved with tests and trials. Maundy Thursday relates to those times in our own lives when our faith seems invincible; when we think we can ace every test that comes along. Holy Thursday is the most fragile day of our journey on the road to Easter because we fail the test, like Peter. Even before dawn breaks, Peter denies Jesus. The truth is, we, too, make promises we don’t keep. Yet on this journey, Holy Thursday also offers us hope. We realize we cannot trust ourselves and again, like Peter, once we reach the other side of Easter, we will discover, as he did, the power of Christ’s love that never fails.
In these times, Lord, we seek peace, comfort and healing. Though we are creating new ways to just ‘be’, and finding ways to care for one another, we ask for continued compassion and strength to see this through. May your Church be a sign of hope. Hear our prayers, Lord. Amen. St. Thomas UCC podcast for 3.29 Click here or visit our website Worship 03-29-2020.mp3