Have you listened to the lilies lately? Has God ever spoken to you through the birds of the air? Matthew 2:26-29 was the first passage of scripture that ever deeply convicted me. In this passage Jesus is reminding us about how foolish our tendency to worry is. One of my greatest challenges throughout my Christian journey has been accepting the simple truth of this passage; “26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 28“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.”
As I shared in my post titled “The Gift of Discontentment” and “Maintaining Balance”, I experience God most powerfully in nature. Some of the most profound lessons I have learned in my spiritual journey were learned from ducks and lakes. This past weekend we celebrated Earth Day and today I listed to a beautiful sermon about earth day by Brian McLaren which was delivered at the National Cathedral. I encourage you all to take the time to listen to Brian’s message which can be found on his blog in a post titled “For the beauty of the earth”
I am very fortunate to have the ability to spend a considerable amount of time enjoying the beauty of creation either in my kayak, on my bike, camping with my family, or hiking the trails around my neighborhood. I can not imagine not having these places and opportunities in my life. Sadly, many of my urban friends do not have the same access to creation that I have due to a lack of transportation and the limited parks that surround our public housing complexes.
I never really thought about nature as a privilege until this weekend when we did a prayer walk through Hillside Court; the grass was over grown, there were no flowers, the park is in severe dis-repair, and the community is in the middle of an industrial area surrounded by warehouses. A little girl stood peeking through a screen door at us as we walked by. My teammate, Rudy, commented “It looks like she is in jail.” It was a haunting image.
As my children hop on their bikes and head to the neighborhood playground or climb trees at our land this week, I will remember that little girl in the cinder block cell, peeking out at the world. How will she experience the loving embrace of the God of creation that has so profoundly shaped my life?