Let Heaven and Nature Sing

At the end of February, I attended the Coracle Fellowship in Baltimore retreat on the Eucharist.  During our time of Silence and Solitude, I felt compelled to go outside for a walk.  I really tried to ignore that feeling.  I’m not familiar with the area, and I didn’t have my coat.  But the sky was mostly clear and blue, and that was a welcome change after several days of grey skies, rain, and the funk that had been hovering over me.  So, I accepted the invitation and stepped outside. 

I was immediately confronted by the unmistakable chill in the air.  But I also sensed a vibrant energy comingling with a palpable peace.  I’ve felt this before, so I wanted to pay attention and dig deeper into what was going on.  I became aware of what felt like my entire body exhaling, which feels more intense than simply exhaling a breath. 

Although I walked in silence, I kept hearing, “and heaven and nature sing.”  I looked and there were the trees with their bare arms raised and swaying in the breeze looking like hands raised in worship.  And I was reminded of times when I sang and raised my own hands, straining to close the gap that physically separated me from God… every fiber of me longing to be in His presence. 

Isaiah 55:12 says, “For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.”

In Luke 19:37-40 I read, “The whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God… Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!  Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”  And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, ‘Teacher, rebuke your disciples.’  He answered, ‘I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.’”

Revelation 5:13 offers us a glorious glimpse of the future:  “And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea and all that is in them saying, ‘To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!’

I wonder, is the energy I feel my body experiencing all of nature praising God? 
Is this energy actually heaven and nature singing?  Are the rocks and stones crying out, and I feel it?
Maybe it’s deep calling to deep and on a cellular level, my body is instinctively, without any effort or control, joining them in their song? 
Perhaps this energy that I find so compelling is God wooing me, His daughter, to Him.
I wonder, did Adam and Eve feel like this in the Garden of Eden? 

A week or so earlier a friend had asked me what my plan was for February 18.  On that day eight years ago, my youngest son, Jason, died unexpectedly, and this friend was checking in with me as the anniversary approached.  I told her I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I was aware of a deep need, almost an urgency, to be near water.  Did my body, my soul, recognize that it just needed to be closer to God and nature would lead the way?

Psalm 96: 11-12 says, Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it. Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.”

As I have spent time outside over the past couple of years, it’s occurred to me that nature isn’t bothered by the pandemic, or the battle over masks.  Nature certainly isn’t panicking over politics or my ever-growing to-do list.  “Consider the lilies of the field…”  Nature doesn’t try to be something it isn’t.  It’s not caught up with trying to impress or gain approval.  Nature simply does what it was created to do. 

I read in Job 12: 7-10, “But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you.  Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this?  In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.” 

While I don’t yet fully understand what that means, I am grateful for all nature has taught and continues to teach me.

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