Meditation written and read by Cathy Tamsberg.
“God made us a beautiful world, meadow and tree and hill.
What can (God’s) children do to make it more beautiful still?”
This is a song I learned as a child in Sunday school. It was obviously hidden in the depths of my memory, but I haven’t recalled it in many decades. But this time at the beach, with its daily beauty, brought these words back to me. Now I can’t get it out of my head—nor would I want to.
What I find interesting about the words is the question it posed in the 1950s—and perhaps earlier: What can we do to make this world more beautiful? It’s a consummate environmentalist’s question. It’s a fundamental dilemma in the quest for an eco-spirituality that honors our relationship with God and creation.
Then there are those lines from a youth musical we sang when I was a teenager:
“O God of the stars, the sun and the moon, O God of the wind and the sea;
Though you’re everywhere how amazing it is that you can be here with me.”
Unlike the childhood tune, these words come to mind every time I gaze at the ocean when I first arrive at the beach. That the God of stars, the sun, the moon, the wind, and the sea is indeed present and concerned about my little world is still stunning to me.
In these Lenten days, getting in touch with the “kingdom of God within you”—touching that place where the Holy resides in each of us—is a central task. But Lent also invites us to stand in utter amazement at the glorious beauty of God’s Creation. Our lives are so hectic that it’s easy to drive past this season’s budding trees and blooming flowers without really seeing them. It’s easy to get so caught up in our daily work that we forget to appreciate the rain and the fertile earth that produce food and beauty in a short time. And it’s also easy to be drawn into the needs of humanity so deeply that we miss hearing the cries of the planet.
So on this Lenten day, take a moment to open your eyes to the beauty around you and say a prayer that you will be inspired to do your part in caring for it.
This meditation is from “Lent: Sowing Season, Holy Time,” a collection of daily readings by Associate Pastor Cathy Tamsberg. Each day during Lent, from Ash Wednesday, February 13, 2013, to Easter Sunday, March 31, 2013, a new excerpt read by a member of the Pullen congregation will be made available. To hear each day’s reading as it is published, subscribe to Pullen’s RSS feed, or listen to the podcast in iTunes.