Monday, September 24, 2007

When I Consider the Heavens...

The Psalmist reflected on the beauty and wonder of the world around him
and then wrote Psalm 8:

When I consider Your heavens,
the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained;
What is man that You take thought of him,
And the son of man that You care for him?

We are back from our brief beach adventure, Kristiana and I. Rain was predicted for the entirety of our stay. On our way there, out on the open road listening to a CD by a group called Selah (if you like hymns, go buy their CD entitled Greatest Hymns today!), we talked about how much we wish the two inches of rain predicted for Sunset Beach would meander inland and douse our beloved Charlotte. We gave thanks for the rain that they were going to get.

Sure enough, we drove through some fairly heavy downpours, but by the time we reached the inn we planned to stay in, the rain had stopped, and it didn't rain anymore on Thursday or Friday. (Later we spoke about how we were both saddened by the fact that they weren't getting rain either; I read recently that nearly all the 100 counties in NC are suffering some kind of drought.) We walked on the beach under the heavy grey clouds for a while. We watched the birds scamper along looking for clams. We greeted the very few other beachcombers we encountered. But mostly we were silenced by the awesome height and breadth of the sky and the depth and noise of the sea.

After dinner, we emerged from the restaurant and were greeted by this magnificent sight. Who can look at a rainbow and not smile, not say a quick prayer of thanks for its beauty?

When I consider the sky, the ocean, the fish, the sea gulls,
the moon, the stars, the spiders, the ants, the frogs, the snakes,
the apple trees, the cranberry bogs, the corn stalks, the grave vines,
the almond trees, the cocoa buds, the soy beans, the romaine lettuce bushes,
the watermelon patches, the peach orchards, the climbing tomato plants,
the flowing waterfalls, the leaping salmon, the crabs, and the dolphins...

When I think of my son's strong legs and beautiful brown eyes
my daughter's beautiful toes and strong sense of self
my husband's strong hands and generous spirit
none of which I have created, but all of which
You have given to me to enjoy...

When I think of all these wonders,
and the countless millions and billions of other creatures You created,
creatures that most of us will never see,
O God, I wonder:
Who am I to you?
Why do you care about me?
Why have you blessed me in so many ways, every day of my life?
And why on earth do I always find so many things to complain about?
To be dissatisfied with?
To want to run away from?


Amy said...


I was thinking similar thoughts a few evenings ago as I watered my newly planted hostas. We've had a drought in Virginia Beach, too; and I am eagerly awaiting a good soaking from the heavens for a couple of days. As I stood there with the spray pouring on the plants, I looked at my new deck and at my home, which is paid for, and I thought the same thing: Who am I to complain? I have been abundantly blessed.

All those things you mentioned, from climbing tomato plants to your son's eyes ... they are miracles indeed!

Shweta Gupta said...


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