The Fingerprints of God

 

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I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place. Psalm 8:3 (NIV)

My husband and I spent the day before Father’s Day on Glendale Lake in beautiful west-central Pennsylvania. Our youngest son, David, rented a pontoon boat for the day as a Father’s Day gift for his dad so the two of them could spend the day fishing. They went last year, and this year, David asked me to come along.

Now, I don’t fish. I don’t even eat fish. But the opportunity to spend the day on a boat relaxing and enjoying nature was something I didn’t want to pass up.

We packed up for the day, and for once I didn’t lug my laptop along, even though I was way behind on my novel writing schedule. I did, however, pack my Kindle. I have library of books on that thing, and I planned to spend the day reading, relaxing, and recharging.

I didn’t read as much as I thought I would, though. Instead I lounged under the canopy, out of the sun, and simply enjoyed the scenery and being a part of a perfect summer day.

Only an occasional wispy cloud floated across the summer blue sky. No heat, no haze, no humidity marred this crisp, clear day, a day when you can see forever.

A summer breeze breathed across the lake and caressed our faces. Sunlight sparkling on the water resembled drops of dancing diamonds. Lush green branches of the surrounding forest hugged the shoreline and painted the waters. Dragonflies buzzed the surface of the lake in search of a meal.

My body leaned with the sway of the boat as it rose and dipped with the wake of passing craft, lulling my eyes to close. The silence was broken only by the buzz of an occasional jon boat puttering by, the lap of the lake slapping the pontoons, the whirring of a fishing rod cast through the air.

David fishing on Glendale Lake
David fishing on Glendale Lake

It was a day when you don’t keep track of the time because you never want it to end.

As the evening sun crept closer to the tree-lined horizon and we headed in, I turned to face the back of the boat and drank in the view one more time. Closing my eyes and inhaling the sweet scents of the lake, I thanked God—for the day, for His beautiful creation.

My body, mind, and spirit were refreshed, renewed, and recharged.

In all nature—from dawn’s soft sky to a vibrant sunset, from storm clouds rolling in to puffy, white clouds that take the shape of whatever your mind’s eye sees, from a million stars twinkling against an infinite canvas to the cloud shadows that float across a verdant field, from the wildflower to the maple tree to the stately pine—I see the fingerprints of their Creator.

A church building is not the only place you can worship God. Just go outside and you’ll enter His sanctuary.

See Him in the trees dancing with the wind, hear Him in the hum of a hummingbird’s wings, inhale His sweet fragrance with the scent of freshly mown grass, taste Him with each drop of rain, feel His embrace wrap around you in the warm breeze.

And know, dear one, that He created all this just for you.

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. – Psalm 19:1

Thank you, Father, for this world You created. Help me to take time to savor it. Amen.

Extra tea: Read and meditate on Psalm 19

Dean and I heading out for a day on Glendale Lake
Dean and I heading out for a day on Glendale Lake

My Black Thumb

 

Viola
Viola

Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. – Genesis 1:31 (NKJV)

Every year I get flowers for Mother’s Day. And every year by July Fourth they’re pathetic looking. Or gone to that great garden in the sky. The healthiest looking ones—if you even want to use the word “healthy”—are all leaves and no blossoms.

Why don’t they bloom? I wondered. I water them when the soil is dry, pouring until the water exits from the hole in the bottom of the pot. (Okay, sometimes the plants are wilted before I remember.) I feed them plant food every other week, using a special kind called “Bloom Booster.” I follow the directions on the package and measure carefully to make sure I don’t use too much or too little. I remove the dead blossoms faithfully.

Vinnie (Vinca Minor)
Vinnie (Vinca Minor) 

Do I water them too much and the roots rot out? Or too little? Maybe my body emits too much static electricity (which is why I can’t wear watches) and that affects them.

Even my kids teased me when the church gave flower plants for Mother’s Day: “Pick your next victim, Mom.”

Every year the flower season begins with so much hope. And every year that hope wilts and dies with the blossoms. I concluded that I simply have a black thumb.

This year I decided no flowers. I wasn’t going to put myself (or them) through the angst.

But my husband surprised me on Mother’s Day with a hanging basket of petunias and a flat of marigolds and petunias.

My Pot of Gold
My Pot of Gold

Now, marigolds have always thrived in spite of me. But the petunias . . .

Sure enough, once the blossoms died, I had a green jungle.

“Where did all the flowers go?” my husband asked me one day.

“Oh, you know me and flowers,” I said. “They take one look at me and say, ‘Oh, it’s her’ and give up the ghost.”

“Are you . . .” He went through the now familiar checklist. I was doing everything I was supposed to be doing . . . except . . .

“Wait!” I hurried to the kitchen and brought out the labels that came with the flowers, which gave detailed directions for the care of that particular plant.

The petunia’s label read “I love sun.” (And “I’m super easy to grow.” Right.)

“Maybe that’s why it isn’t blooming,” I said. “It’ supposed to get at least six hours of sun daily. It’s not getting enough sunlight.”

I’d hung the basket on the back deck, which gets plenty of light, but little to no direct sunlight. So I moved the plant to the sunny side of the deck. Sure enough, it began to perk up.

That was a couple of weeks ago. Today Viola (I named her, and, yes, I talk to her every day) is bursting with pink, purple, and white flowers.

One little detail—one important detail—made all the difference.

Just like the flowers, God created each person unique. Some thrive in the sun, others in the shade. It’s important to know the difference.

Petunia
Petunia

And it’s important not to compare.

The petunia, which loves the sun, doesn’t wish it were an impatiens, which thrives in the shade. Nor does the impatiens wish it were a petunia. They just bloom and give joy to all who gaze upon their beauty.

Shouldn’t we do the same?

 

Help me to be sensitive, Lord, to the way You made others. Give me the wisdom to perceive whether they thrive in the sun or in the shade, and to treat them accordingly. Amen.

Extra tea: Read and meditate on Genesis 1

Impatiens
Impatiens