But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind. Job 12:7-10
Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think of these things. Philippians 4:8
There is an often quoted curse, which may or may not be Chinese, that says, “May you live in interesting times.” Lately, is seems as if each new day brings to our attention something more interesting than yesterday brought. I grew up in a small southern town in which there was very little excitement. ( My big city (Charlotte) cousins thought my world was quite dull.) Most folks got along most of the time, and my parents did not even have a key to our house. The only people I knew who marched were members of the high school marching band. The only protests I knew of were what children did at bedtime. When I think about the world my beloved grandson inhabits, I worry about him and his contemporaries who have so much to contend with. They only know a world in conflict.
One of the things that is most interesting – and troubling – to me of late is the deluge of political advertisements that seem so hateful. They do not so much tell us what the candidate stands for as they want us to understand how vile and terrible the opponent is. My Facebook feed is full of people I know and love who take aim at one another about political issues. Not that we ought not discuss these issues. We should. But in a kinder, more loving way. My neighborhood is overflowing with competing political signs. Some of these are good natured, with Biden and Trump signs peacefully coexisting in adjacent yards. Some are not so good natured. But none of them is beautiful, and they all speak of disagreement and conflict. And they speak of tension, each side fearful of what will happen if the other side wins. And I will admit that as much as I would like the election to be over with, I am anxious of what might happen afterwards.
Rick and I were in the mountains last week. We drove along the Blue Ridge Parkway to look at the leaves turning. Higher elevations had more color, some of it seemed to fairly glow. And at some of the Scenic Overlooks, we could see great patches of green with just an occasional burst of joyous reds and yellows. In some places, disease had caused most of the trees to die leaving only dull, grayness. Yet even amidst the death and ugliness of those patches, there were occasional spots of color, trying hard to bring back beauty to the mountain. And it occurred to me that maybe that is what our Lord is calling us to be: beacons of beauty and hope in the midst of a dark and chaotic world. “Speak to the earth, and it will teach you.” Think on the beauty and goodness of God’s creation. And know that in God’s time, all will, indeed, be well.
All shall be well, and all shall be well,
And all manner of things shall be well…
For there is a force of love moving through the universe
That holds us fast and will never let us go.
Julian of Norwich (c.a. 1342-1416)
Pastor Rachel Moser