I want you to read this some day, 恵真
our new little Emma Sophia:
as you took your first breath in the dark of the night
so far away from this farm where your father grew up,
we bid farewell to the sun here
so God could bring it glowing to your first day in Japan,
that misty island where your mother grew up.
Your birth blesses so many all over this earth
and proves that war from two generations ago
exists only in history books now,
now love digs so deep in the genes
it overcomes what has come before.
You have sent the sun back today to us,
brand new grandparents,
to rise pink over this snowy morning,
and we will send it back to you tonight
to wake you for your second day
resting calm in the arms of your loving family.
Each day from now on
may we always return the Light you sent
and send it forth to shine on you.
A silence slipping around like death, Yet chased by a whisper, a sigh, a breath;
One group of trees, lean, naked and cold, Inking their cress ‘gainst a sky green-gold;
One path that knows where the corn flowers were; Lonely, apart, unyielding, one fir; And over it softly leaning down, One star that I loved ere the fields went brown ~Angelina Weld Grimke “A Winter Twilight”
Our farm’s lone fir is a focal point of the neighborhood,
standing grand on the highest hill for several miles around.
Raptors use this tree for views of the surrounding fields.
The horses love the shade on hot summer days.
It is backdrop for glorious sunsets and waning moons.
Yet in winter I find myself admiring it most —
Its steadfast presence, so stoic and unyielding
though buffeted by cold wind and icy storms.
Decades of seasons flow past the lone fir, “silence slipping around like death, yet chased by a whisper, a sigh, a breath.”
Very still and mild it was, wrapped in a great, white, brooding silence — a silence which was yet threaded through with many little silvery sounds which you could hear if you hearkened as much with your soul as your ears.
The girls wandered down a long pineland aisle that seemed to lead right out into the heart of a deep-red, overflowing winter sunset.” ~ L.M. Montgomery from Anne of the Island
If I can put one touch of rosy sunset into the life of any man or woman, I shall feel that I have worked with God. ~G. K. Chesterton
I wonder at a northwest sunset
evolving from gray haze to warm into golds,
then pinks and oranges to bleeding red.
So too my heart overflows,
pulsing out the love
poured into me
from God’s endless grace.
graying at the end of the day,
will be covered with roses.
Within these days of early winter
is disappearance of the familiar world,
of all that grows and thrives,
of color and freshness,
of hope in survival.
Then there comes a moment of softness amid the bleak,
a gift of grace and beauty,
a glance of dropping sun on a snowy hillside,
a covering of colorful cloud puffs in the valley,
a view through melting ice,
and I know the known world is still within my grasp
because you have hold of me.
What’s enough? Countless times I’ve watched the sun rise like God’s tender mercy to gently lift the dark blanket from the earth, and countless more times I’ve watched the sun set in such a splendiferous farewell that it must reflect the fringe on God’s robe. I’ve seen the sky define blue and endless. I’ve watched rivers run to the sea, full as life runs to God. I’ve felt the sea roll in on the eternal note of mystery and assurance.
I’ve scratched the ears of dogs, laughed at the ballet of cats. I’ve heard the cry and gurgle of the newborn, played with children, rocked with grandmothers, learned from hundreds of teachers, some of them homeless, poor, and uneducated.
I’ve been loved and forgiven beyond all deserving, and all breath to tell of it, by family and friends and God.
I’ve been shaken, changed, and blessed a thousand times — and still — by the prophets, and by Christ. I’ve felt the touch of God, each time before I realized that’s what it was. I’ve shared in the cantankerous yet remarkable family of faith called the church. I’m conscious of being conscious and alive. And all that’s just for starters.
How much does it take to praise God? I have a couple of trips around the Milky Way past enough for that, no matter if I never receive another thing. So I best get on with it . . . and praise God that I can. — Ted Loder from The Haunt of Grace
play with children
We forget, in our ever-inward focus, we were created for praise and to give all glory to God. We are given mouths to sing, hands to clasp, eyes to witness His wonders, forgiveness to try once again to get it right.
Even so, we don’t even recognize the touch of God.
May we, the flawed and broken, meet together today in His church as a family of faith to praise God that we are able to praise Him.