Posts Tagged 'Love of God'

I have been waking up early for the last two weeks. I’m not sure why. I’m content to stay up late and sleep late too; not much of a morning kind of guy. So it is indeed strange that all of a sudden I have been waking up at 6:45 AM and jumping out of my bed as if there were springs on my back and Wyle E Coyote had just pressed a remote control button activating a mechanism that releases the tension and sends me bounding into the day with reckless abandon.

Or at least that’s me waking up in the morning, for a week or two.

I share that short introductory remark about my sleeping and waking habits so that I can tell you this extra time has benefited me greatly. I have been using this time to read (and write, a little). I’ve been reading a lot. Today one of my books reminded me how amazing is this world and how wonderful is all that the eyes can see. I’m sitting behind a window, staring at a fake farm in a fake world, and right outside the window I am trapped behind is a spectacular, wonderful, grace filled world of trees and birds and spiders and flowers and grass and gravel and sunlight and paint and concrete and butterflies and squirrels  and the neighbors’ annoying feline.

About a month or so ago I moved my study desk out of my bedroom, to the downstairs, and in front of a window. I had grown weary of staring at the wall in my bedroom. Here I sit with my books surrounding me, my laptop beckoning me, my dogs crowding me, and the world open before me. There is a tree—one of my favorite trees: a Japanese Maple. It is a spectacular tree and I marvel at its grace and beauty. Have you ever seen one, ever beheld their breathtaking beauty and elegance? It is like arms reaching upward, palms upturned in worship, asking God for rain or light or a touch. It is balanced and perfect. It is a wonder to behold.

Hanging from the gorgeous Japanese Maple tree that God has so graciously permitted me to borrow for a while is a small red hummingbird feeder. My wife graciously created some yummy sugar water for the tiny birds and after about two weeks of hanging there silently, the hummingbirds finally discovered it. Now they make regular rounds visiting my feeder and, I presume, several other feeders in the area. I am amazed at their uncanny ability to hover (scientific explanations of how they do this hasn’t ruined my wonder of their doing so). I sit behind my window and watch the hummingbirds as they flit from hole to hole filling up on the succulent liquid. They are so perfectly designed, so wonderfully majestic, so majestically beautiful. I could sit and watch them all day.

I have two other trees in my front yard. They are tall trees. (The hummingbird has just returned. Now she’s gone.) The squirrels like to play in the trees. One day I went out and sat on the sidewalk. A squirrel walked right up to me and if I had had a peanut or a salad I suppose I could have fed it from my hand. It showed no fear of me. Although they can be annoying (David Crowder has written and spoken of how annoying squirrels can be) I love to watch them play in the trees. You can’t tell me they are not playing as they jump from branch to branch without a care in the world that they might plummet to their death. They frolic and play with abandon, throwing all caution to the wind and putting more faith in their furry tails than I put in my two feet. They are marvelous.

On the screen in front of me, the one that divides inside from outside when I have the window sash raised there lives a small jumping spider. I suppose it has a proper name, but I do not know what it is or care to look it up right now. I just call her Ma’am and I am very polite to her. She’s small and there’s glass between us, but I take no chances. I do not provoke her by tapping the glass or anything silly like that. I just sit and watch, amazed at how stealthily she glides across the screen looking for prey. I wonder if she prays?  I wonder if this glorious creature ever has thoughts about God? It is precisely that thought that prevents me from killing insects or animals of any kind. What if I squashed her under my thumb while she was praying to God? She is spectacular.

Every now and again I am also treated to a visit from a Cardinal. His glorious red feathers are all afire as he sits in the Japanese Maple or dares to hop over the white railing on my front porch. I love to watch him as he sits and looks at the ceiling of my porch. For a while, I couldn’t figure out why he would brave such a close encounter with my house when it is so clear that humans live here. Then one day I watched as he batted his wings, lifted off, and plucked a spider or another bug off the ceiling of the porch. He braved the encounter because he was hungry and found on my porch a wonderful restaurant, a smorgasbord of delectable delights. Look at the birds of the air…look at the birds on your front porch.

I could tell you about more. There’s also a Blue Jay that sits in the Japanese Maple cracking open seeds he gathered from the feeders we have out back of the house. I could talk to you about the Monarch Butterfly that just lighted upon the flowers surrounding the tall tree in my front yard. (I’d love to tell you about the two boys from across the street, the ones who are tormenting the neighborhood cat with their water guns.) There is the new grass that my wife planted that is the most perfect green I have ever seen, and delicate. There are the massive orb spiders that also live on the porch and scare me to pieces. There are the moths. The flies. The battalions of ‘Canadian Soldiers’ dead in spider webs. The Mosquitoes. The Ants. There’s more than I have time to tell you about this morning. But here’s the thing: I see all of this by looking out one small window, from one perspective, inside my house. I see all these creatures at least once a week, and most of them once per day. They are always there. And there is more: I haven’t even lifted rocks, dug a hole, or looked closely at the bark on the trees.

I am amazed at these things. Truly, utterly amazed that all of this is right outside my window. I am even more amazed that all of them, every single one will eat today. They will have enough and they will be here when I awake tomorrow and sit in this chair.

I marvel at God’s creativity and provision. I marvel that he allows me stewardship over some of this. I marvel that he is faithful in and caring (there’s a lot more too that I’m sure God also cares about as Jonah learned). I marvel that there is so much beauty around us and just two eyes to see. (I also marvel at how delicious olives are, even at 9:15 AM.) I marvel at the sunlight streaming down to touch the earth, that it still has strength and has not grown tired after traveling 93 million miles. I’m tired after five minutes. I marvel at the delicious, juicy sweetness of the Red Delicious apple I am consuming bit by bite.

I am amazed at God’s graciousness and grace. I marvel at his power. I marvel that his power is also love. I marvel that I am loved by him even though I am all too familiar with myself. I am amazed and I will continue to be amazed that this God of Japanese Maples and Humming Birds loves me. Right here, right now, the Holy King of Israel loves me.

“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:17-19)

The hummingbird just came back for a third visit. This time, he sat for a while and enjoyed the drink before flying off again. I am still amazed.

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