Resting in God’s Gift of Creation

I got my contextualist world view from my dad. Before I ever heard the term, I knew my dad as a contextualist – a person who evaluates every situation in the light of complex circumstances. Which explained the inconsistences of different rules for different people at our small fishing resort in southern Minnesota.

Like the day my dad made a point to tell me not to let anyone charge their purchases. Only a few hours later, a neighbor picked up a few groceries and told me to charge them. When I told her I couldn’t, she said “But your dad always lets us charge what we buy.” And sure enough, under the till was a running list of charges on their account.

My dad had one price for regular customers, but when the kids that I grew up with came back from Vietnam, there was another. I learned the lesson of special prices on a day I was visiting my parents. One of the guys I graduated with came in to pay for the boat he and his friends had rented. I checked out the time he’d used the boat and told him what he owed. Instead of paying, Bill said, “But, Ernie only charges us a dollar.” I didn’t doubt him. My dad’s rules for different people were still going strong.

Long before there were any pushes to give a break to Veterans, my dad looked out for returning vets. These were the kids who grew up on his school bus and crowded into his car after basketball practice.  He wanted these young men to have a place to get away.  He knew that spending time on the lake  would give them space to allow the tranquility of water to be a healing force from the trauma of war.

In this season of Covid19 we all need healing spaces. We need places that soothe our spirits, enrich our souls and encourage us for the long distance ahead. God has blessed us with the gifts of creation from starlit nights, to a glorious sunrise. We celebrate dazzling colors in our gardens and the joy of a rainbow. There is something mysterious and delightful in the sheer whiteness of a new fallen snow. We are inspired by the grandeur of a mountain, or the power of a waterfall. We find ourselves healing and restored when we rest in nature’s bounty. I think that is part of the reason we love the 23rd Psalm with it message of healing and restoration. The psalmist writes:

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want;
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters;
he restores my soul.” Psalm 23: 1-3a

God is in the business of restoration, healing us in our brokenness and lifting us from despair. May you find places of healing and renewal, where your spirit can rest and your soul be restored.