Finding My Way

When I was a child, we were released
to discover the world on our own
and build our inner grit for what life
would too soon bring so that we
could trust in what we knew inside.

Perhaps at age ten or eleven
my brothers and I cross the gravel
county road, cautiously holding the
barbed wire fence for one another so
that we sneak through and are not harmed.

Carefully we walk between the straight
rows of sweet alfalfa until
reaching the musky smelling
wooded area that I hadn’t known
existed before this summer day.

Now this is rare that I am invited
into my older brother’s world.
Initially it seems enchanting
to be here, seeing wildflowers
in the middle of the forest.

Listening to the sounds of nature
I feel at home, the warblers and frogs
bring comfort to my young heart
as though God is embracing my soul
and I wonder if the boys feel Her, too.

Soon I tire of being away from home
and take off alone while biting into a
green apple I’d climbed up to pick from
the tree on the beginning of this
adventure on a warm summer day.

Savoring the sour deliciousness, I forget
my fear of being lost and remember
enough to look up at the blue Sky.
With the guidance of the bright Sun
I’ll find my way home. Eventually.

Navigating Life

No doubt, the way we navigate life as adults is learned as children. I still feel the embrace of God when in nature. During the afternoon of Independence Day some of our family took to Standing Bear Lake. It was really hot! Luckily, we were relieved when jumping into the water.

The wind was strong enough to require extra exertion paddling our stand-up paddle boards and kayaks. At first, I didn’t have enough air in the inflatable water craft and evidently the “board” looked like it was swallowing up my feet!  Once it was properly inflated, it was much easier to make our way across the lake, do the limbo under the floating walking trail, and finally make our way back to the dock. Besides a lovely day with family, the resident blue heron repeatedly swooped past us. I’d never seen it in the heat of the day, so this was quite a treat and another way I felt the embrace of God.

The words of the Psalms wrap around us and open our eyes to God’s love. How often we pray the 23rd Psalm at the bedside to bring comfort to one who is sick or dying and their loved ones. Without thinking, the 63rd Psalm comes to my lips while walking and praying.

O God, you are my God, I long for you, my soul thirsts for you,
my whole being seeks for you
as in a dry and weary land without water.
So, I look upon you in the sanctuary
Beholding your power and your glory
For your constant love is better than life.
My lips will sing your praises
And I will bless you long as I live.

In counting our blessings this week, we welcome Rev. Andrew Finch, his wife Meagan, and son Jon, as he joins the clergy staff of Rev. Stephanie, Rev. Jerry, and me. We give thanks that even more of God’s purposes will be fulfilled with his coming to our church and look forward to serving together.

May we rest in the knowledge that the true sun that guides us home is the Son of God.

We pray for peace and calm in your life. Know that you are loved, and God embraces your soul.

Rev. Marta Wheeler