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God's Creation and Critters

Hi Y'all (going back to my southern Indiana roots),

Want a break from the world, with its violence, mudslinging and ugliness? Then enter into this blog. I need a summer respite from the woes of this world and thought that in this season we could concentrate on God's great creation. I want to share with you over the next 3 months the heartwarming and sometimes humorous encounters I have had these last 14 years at North Valley.

Today was an example of how we sometimes don't see and enjoy the simple things of nature. Today I visited Mary Ann, one of our church members who resides in a memory care facility. Mary Ann in her prime had one of the best senses of humor and always had something witty to say. Now Mary Ann's laughter is less frequent as are her smiles and conversation. I decided to eat lunch with her when I visit because that gives us something to do together. After lunch we sing familiar hymns, have communion, and then I walk her over to bingo.

We took a detour on the way to bingo today. The care center has wonderful atrium where residents can enjoy the outdoors without leaving the premises. As soon as Mary Ann and I walked through the door to the outside, she stopped her walker, tilted her head up, closed her eyes and said, "Oh, the sun feels so good on my face, and the wind, too." We slowly walked the stone path, looking at the strawberries and tomatoes that had been planted and stopped every so often to examine all the flowers and shrubs. Mary Ann always had beautiful flowers around her house. (Pictured below is when I visited Mary Ann about 8 months ago). What a way to experience the simple joy of creation. Mary Ann will always be sunshine to and for me. I will always remember how she enjoyed the simple pleasure of having sun on her face and a breeze through her hair.

In this month as we celebrate Father's Day, the old hymn, "This is my Father's World," echoes in my head...

This is my Father’s world, And to my list’ning ears All nature sings, and round me rings The music of the spheres. This is my Father’s world: I rest me in the thought Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas— His hand the wonders wrought

This is my Father’s world: The birds their carols raise, The morning light, the lily white, Declare their Maker’s praise. This is my Father’s world: He shines in all that’s fair; In the rustling grass I hear Him pass, He speaks to me everywhere.

This is my Father’s world: Oh, let me ne’er forget That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet. This is my Father’s world, The battle is not done: Jesus who died shall be satisfied, And earth and Heav’n be one.

Talk to you next week, as we begin to explore all God's non-human creatures, great and small!

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