Reconnecting with the Backyard

This morning was the first morning since Labor Day weekend that I took the opportunity to get up early and go for a walk around Memorial Park. It was a beautiful spring morning, with temperatures cool enough to animate one’s step. This being early spring, the park and the surrounding neighborhoods were filled with the sounds of spring. With little effort I could make out the songs and calls of cardinals, robins, a red-bellied woodpecker, a northern flicker, a song sparrow, blue jays, starlings, house sparrows, and maybe some finches. A downy woodpecker was making a racket in a tree that I passed and then flew off.

I am reminded of an observation by Ellen Davis speaking about The Poetry of Creatures as she was being interviewed for On Being. She observed in the creation narrative in Genesis that God blessed the creatures before people were created. That is not to be taken lightly. Creatures other than people add such beauty to our world, not to mention having essential roles in maintaining the ecosystem that we all share. We neglect creation care at our own peril.

As we look for a new home, and as I look for a new means of earning a living, I need to stay focused on what is important: caring for my family, caring for the people for whom Christ died, and caring for the creation that He sanctified and called blessed. It doesn’t matter where we live or how much income I secure. If I don’t handle my outward-facing responsibilities in concert with God’s plan, little else matters.

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