I’m fortunate enough to live on the beautiful north coast of Northern Ireland, where I can go for swims in the sea and walks on the beach daily.
I grew up in a big city, surrounded by concrete buildings and crowds of people, so I don’t take the nature that surrounds me for granted.
I found that during lockdown, when much of my work went online and I was spending a lot of my time glued to a computer screen, I depended even more than ever on my walks in nature – for refreshment, and for sanity.
Not only was it precious time out of the house and away from my family of five, but it was time to recognize that I am part of something much bigger than myself, much bigger than my little home – I am a part of God’s world.
A world created by God, a world cared for by God.
And nature – creation – reminded me of its artistic Creator: God the Creator of majestic vistas, of the brilliant colors of flowers, sea, and sky; of creatures – birds, fish, seals, and of course humans; of cool, refreshing breeze, of warm sun on my face.
Psalm 19 has always been one of my favorites: “The heavens declare the glory of God.”
It reminds us that nature can act as the word of God, speaking to us of who God is and reminding us of God’s care for us.
The youtube link above is for a song I arranged with paraphrased words of Psalm 19 set to the Irish melody The Lark in the Clear Air, part of our collection of psalms set to Irish and Scottish melodies (Celtic Psalms).
I’ve included photos of the beautiful vistas I saw on my walks through this last spring, in the height of lockdown, when every sight of beauty was even more poignant in a world turned upside-down by pandemic.
May you find time each day to emerge from your homes, from your home offices, or from wherever it is that you spend your days, and shift your gaze to the heavens, to be reminded that the same God who speaks through the beauty of nature around us, speaks to and care for you…for each one of us.