Thursday, April 26, 2007

A thousand blackbirds and thirty-seven deer

It’s April on the western Minnesota prairie. This means one day it’s 81 degrees and for the next week we have blowing snow, 40 mile per hour winds with nighttime temperatures in the low teens. In Minnesota, we only need to be patient; things will change on short order. Yesterday the temperature started to rise with scattered sunshine.

The scattered sunshine seems to cause the migrating birds to begin moving again. Blackbirds are in the south field so thick the field seemed to move and oscillate as they picked the soil for some morsels of food. Birds amaze me; why do they all jump up at the same time, fly in the same direction, flowing in graceful form, coordinated in smooth flight and at whose command? Is there a first-sergeant bird who silently barks out orders to the obedient flocks?

The group of birds leap-frog over each other, out of the south field into the lawn to the east of the house. Continuous flights, continuous noise, all moving closer to the pond for water and an evening respite in our trees.

The other evening Judi came home from work just at dusk. She called and told me to get my shoes on for she was taking me for a ride. She took me down to the lake bottom where we observed over 30 plus deer frolicking and playing in the darkening shadows. What a sight! What a blessing! God’s handiwork is all around.

Today Judi and I went for a walk in the wood with our lab, Lily. The sound of the birds was impressive. It was loud, long and steady—a sure sign of hope at the end of winter on the Minnesota prairie.

This morning the sunrise broke over the horizon just north of the Long Lake Mission Cemetery on Johnnie’s hill. It reminded me of Lamentations 3:22-23: "Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” My mind went back to last night and I marveled at what a privilege it was to see God’s creation in its entire splendor. It is free for us to see and praise. I praise the Lord for His creative genius, a reminder of His generous providing hand. Psalms 19:1 - "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands."

Remember if we do not praise the Lord, the rocks will cry out. Oh Lord, may I never become so calloused as to not notice the beauty, grandeur, and magnificence of your creation. May the rocks in Section 17 of Winfield Township have no need to cry out. May we forever praise the Lord. Amen.

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