The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world and all who live in it.
The sun was just appearing, still below the tree tops but illuminating the clear sky with that first pure white light. A breeze, gentle and unusually cool for a Louisiana August morning, rustled leaves of the drought-weary trees, offering a foretaste of a much longed-for autumn.
The state of Florida was reeling this morning through the onslaught of Hurricane Idalia. My heart was hurting as I prayed for the safety of the residents. Suddenly a lovely vee shape of ducks flew overhead, beautifully silhouetted against the brightening sky. My heart thrilled as the sight lifted my spirits to stand enthralled at nature’s beauty.
A few great egrets flew at the same height, the same direction. As I stood transfixed, group after group of ducks, ibises, and geese flew overhead, many in formations, some individually, while multiple singular egrets and herons joined the exodus. Were these birds moving toward the west in response to the hurricane-generated breezes? Were they fleeing perceived danger?
As I watched the almost unending parade of apparent avian refugees, I broke into tears over the troubles our neighbors were experiencing in Florida and beyond, over the fires raging in our state and others, over the disasters my fellow human beings were suffering worldwide.
Why is it that beauty and joy are so often accompanied by hardship and grief? All I could do was give thanks for all the good in the world, grieve over all the troubles and remember that our God is good all the time.
God of all creation, we trust in your everlasting love and care as we face the challenges in this world. Quiet our fears and still our hearts so that we may hear your voice in the wind, the fire, and the call of the birds. Amen.