May is here! Hopefully we will get into a more normal weather system. It seems that the late winter and early spring both trying to be in charge. As I have always heard, if want to know what the weather is going to be in Michigan, stick around for ten minutes and it will change!

              It seems as if our climate is enjoying playing tricks on us. My Spiritual Director sent me a book titled, Church of the Wild, How Nature Invites Us into the Sacred, by Victoria Loorz. The title alone got me thinking about my need to stop and smell the roses so to speak. To take the time to ponder the blooming flowers, the brightness of the moon, the veins of a leaf on the tree, the colors on the wings of a butterfly. I marvel at the intricacies in the lacy looking wings of a Dragonfly, the grandeur of the mountains and waterfalls, which calls me tho ponder my place in God’s amazing creation.

              I think sometimes we get so wrapped up in our modern way of living that we don’t leave the air conditioned house in the summer or the warm heat in our homes in the winter. Yet there is so very much to learn from all that God created. “But ask the animals, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of every human being” (Job 12:7-10). Jesus tells us, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? 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 clothed like one of these” (Matthew 6:25-29).

              How often do we sit and listen to the breeze rustle the leaves on the tree? Or the water as it slaps against the beach? I have to admit, that as much as I enjoyed being out in God’s creation, I didn’t always take the time to just sit for a few moments and listen. Maybe you have done it as well, you take a trip and see some beautiful sights and comment on how amazing the site is and then get back in the car and move on to the next sight to see. Then, when I was really struggling and didn’t know where to go to listen for God. One day I was at a friends home which happened to be on a lake. I went and sat on the dock and asked God to show up. As I listened to the water, and wondered if God would speak, God did indeed show up. I didn’t hear a booming voice, just the sound of the water as it gently slapped the beach. It took a while, but that was when I realized that God showed up! God was there in the water and the breeze. I didn’t hear words spoken, but I did experience the Holy. Peace. Peace that I had not felt at any point in time during this struggle was filling my spirit.

              In the book, the author shares the journal entry of a young girl. In 1902, Opal Whiteley was five years old and living in a logging town in Oregon. She kept a journal filled with old-soul intimacy with the natural world. And she knew this intimacy as Holy Presence, “Morning is glad on the hills. The sky sings in blue tones. Little blue fliers are early blooming now. I do so like blue. It is glad everywhere…The earth sings in green…I did stop by some grand fir trees to pray. When one does look looks up at the grand trees growing up almost to the sky, one does always have longings to pray.” (Church of the Wild, How Nature Invites us into the Sacred, Victoria Loorz, Broadleaf Books, Minneapolis, MN, 2021, page 12).

              Could it be that God does want to teach us through the songs of the birds and the scent of the roses? Stopping and taking time to listen to creation, might just help us listen to God, and what a change that can bring to our lives!

              “Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it. Then all the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord; for he is coming.” (Psalm 96:11-12).

Pastor Mona