April 28, 2020

One of my daily practices is to look out of my bedroom window early in the morning to check the weather, and take a moment to breath in the new day. The window looks east, and over the mountains I catch an ever-changing sky depending on the weather, the time of day, and the season. 

This morning was pretty glorious, in its own way. Yesterday I couldn’t even see the mountains, for the cloud cover and rain. But this morning! How I wish I could take a photo or paint a picture that could come close to duplicating the scene. There were what appeared to be an infinite number of shades of green, from the grass in the lawn across the street, to the different species of trees, some lighter green as their leaves begin to show, to a magnificent pine tree that towers about the others. Further off in the distance, along the mountain side were more patches of green, some muted under the cover of a cloud above, and one section much brighter. A smaller tree across the street was a display of pink blooms, set off above a darker red bush.  

As my eye traveled up towards the sky, I could see the stark contrast between the top of the ridge and crowned with bright blue sky. And yet above that, a ribbon of white, fluffy clouds, straining against a cover of dark clouds that reminded me of an El Greco painting. It was almost as if the very sky itself couldn’t decide who was going to win, the warming sun of spring, or remnants of winter snow clouds. 

I woke up with equally mixed up thoughts and feelings. Will this be a day that holds good news that the days of what feels like our captivity inch closer to ending? Or will it be a stormy day, windy, chilly, wet and wild signaling an extending sentence of stay-at-home orders? 

I am reminded of Psalm 121, “I lift up my eyes to the hills – from where will my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved;   he who keeps you will not slumber. He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and forevermore.”

I wonder how many millions of humans have lifted, are lifting their eyes to the hills, to discover a source of strength and help far beyond our imagining. Lifting my eyes takes me back my 4th grade Sunday School teacher, Mrs. Lambeck, who had us memorize the Psalm, and leads me forward to God, who is our help and our keeper. 

Thanks, Mrs. Lambeck, and thanks, God, our help and our keeper! ~ Anne

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