04 May 2010

Meditation: "For the Beauty of the Earth"

"Earth's crammed with heaven/And every common bush afire with God." --Elizabeth Barrett Browning

"I think the thrush's voice is more like God's than many a preacher's telling of the Word." --Evelyn Underhill

"For the beauty of the earth, for the glory of the skies, for the love which from our birth over and around us lies; Lord of all, to thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise." --from the hymn text by Folliot Pierpoint

Dear Friends,

I am tempted to take the easy way out with this meditation, and simply suggest that you take 10 minutes and go for a walk. But don't just walk. Walk and notice and marvel at the unfolding spring around us. The soft green of unfurling leaves, the bright colors of azalea and rhododendron, the irrepressible growth of grass and weeds alike, the damp earthy smell of the ground beneath our feet. You get the idea--take it all in with as many of the senses as possible. Pause to smell a flower or inhale the cool air stirred by a stream. Touch the damp moss on a tree trunk or feel the soft, bright lime-green growth on a fir tree. Listen for the call of a song bird, or the migrating geese overhead, or the sounds of children joyfully playing outside. Maybe even let a spring shower dampen your upturned face. Walk for 10 minutes and take it all in.

Every year a miracle explodes around us as this corner of the earth emerges from winter--sometimes in a burst of regenerative glory and other times in what seems a maddeningly slow, yet inexorable process of transformation. But in either case, lest we take this natural metaphor for God's renewing grace for granted, let us notice and marvel at what too many of us fail to appreciate as we speed through our lives rushing headlong from one activity to another.

Life is irrepressible. Evidence of God's renewing grace is all around us. We are a part of God's creation, and when we take note and marvel and claim our proper place within it, we nurture God's life within our own hearts and souls.

Praise be to God!

Blessings, Jeremy
Prayer: God of Creation, thank you. Thank you for shouting out your grace through the natural world around us. Enliven our senses so that we might truly appreciate it all. Amen.

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