Encountering God in Nature
I often hear others speak of a “drive-by” to celebrate special occasions or to connect with family and friends during the pandemic. How different our encounters with God, who bids us come close, remove the masks, share heart to heart.
Creation has much to teach us of the ways of God. Autumn—with its brilliant fall colors, crisp morning air, warm days, and cool, darkening evenings—is an ideal season to deepen our relationship with God. We need only stop, gaze in wonder and awe, thank God, and linger in silence. The silence permits us to surrender our doubts and anxieties to the Almighty, to experience peace without having answers to all our questions.
At the present time, the citizens of our country are overwhelmed by unrest, uncertainty, anxiety, fear. As a child, before ever seeing the awesome images of our beautiful Earth from space, I sang with gusto, “He has the whole world in his hands.” Years later, when I first viewed the picture of Earth from space, so perfectly circular, colorful, alive and swirling, the words of that song returned to me. I now imagine the powerful arms of God embracing the chaos, divisions, ravages of Covid-19, and human cruelty that afflict us. At the same time, God embraces our goodness, compassion, selflessness, and care for the Earth and one another. The human family is bound together by such differences of beauty and ugliness. Our hope rests in the fact that all are held and healed in the strong and loving arms of our Creator.
Nature opens our hearts to hear the gentle voice of God speaking of hope, promise, peace and solidarity with all people. We come to see that God, who allows differences between and among peoples that so easily lead to divisions, is the same God who puts into our hearts the desire for healing, reconciliation, and forgiveness.