Tuesday, June 8

For the Beauty of the Earth

For the beauty of the earth...

I suppose you can't read this blog and not know that I love the place where I live, and that I spend quite a bit of time thinking about how beautiful it is. The creation is so visible here, so overwhelming that it is impossible to ignore. The population of the whole territory is somewhere around 30,000, but the area of the land is about 2/3 the size of the state of Texas. The mountains, the trees, the meadows, the rivers and lakes--we touch them and feel them and live in them. They are what we wake to every morning and fall asleep to every night. We cannot help but be keenly aware of this gift given to us, a gift that tells us something about the One who created it. He who spoke into existence the seemingly endless variety of creation, the towering St. Elias mountains, the bear and wolf and caribou and raven and eagle, who sustains their very being, is bigger than it all, and stronger than it all, and Lord over it all.

For the glory of the skies...

Today the sky is cloudy, but the depth of the blueness of it on a clear day is hard to describe. (Prairie dwellers will understand what I mean.) Once in a while a jet going to Alaska will leave a trail across the sky, but mostly we see the sky as just sky-as-God-made-it, and smell the air just as it was created. And when fall and winter come round again, and the nights get dark again, we will once again see God's cinema in the ever-moving lights of the aurora. As beautiful and vast and showy as these things are, our God stands behind them, and underneath them, and over them. He is more expansive and more beautiful, and He holds them all in the palm of his hand.

For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies.

Creation and its provision come out of God's love for us as His creatures. The rain and the sun, and all the growing things that they sustain, are part of what God provides for our life on this earth, things He provides for every single one of us. What we eat, we eat from what He lovingly provides for us. The seeds have sprouted in my garden, and before long I will be making salads from the things grown there--vegetables tended to by God's sunlight and His rain. (Okay, I will help Him out a bit on the watering part--but the water still comes from His rain.) In August, I will pick wild cranberries for muffins baked all winter long. The boys will go halibut and salmon fishing in the coastal waters, and maybe moose hunting in the fall. We will fill our freezer with the Lord's provision; we will fill it with His ever-providing, always-surrounding love for us.

Lord of all, to Thee we raise,
This our hymn of grateful praise.

---For the Beauty of the Earth by Folliot Sandford Pierpoint

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