The rain is calming. It is steady but
falling gently. If you silence the chirping birds,
you can almost hear the grass and the flowers and
the weeds growing. Drenched in rain, they are
singing the song God the Creator has put in them.
Recently, I sat with a friend and watched the
falling rain; my friend (he or she) pointed out,
“Isn’t the best feeling the splash from the rain
hitting the ground?” I suppose so.
After the long fall from far above, a raindrop
hitting the ground isn’t violent. It’s calming.
As I write this, Silas is snoozing at my feet. I
watch his golden coat turn a dark copper red the
longer he lies in the rain. His nose to the air, he
sniffs a mystery my nose can’t solve—some faint
spring perfume drifting in the wind. I wonder what
he dreams. I wonder what he feels.
Two days ago, an oriole fed at my hummingbird
nectar. Twice the size of the feeder, itself, I
watched him drink deep before he departed for the
next leg of his journey. “Where have you come from,
friend? To where are you flying?,” I thought as I
looked at him. I hope he gets to wherever he is
Today, two of my favorite birds found their way to
my makeshift aviary: indigo buntings. In addition to
their striking blue feathers, I am fond of this
little bird because of their song, which is full of
wonder and awe for life. “What! What! Where? Where?
See it! See it!” That’s what they sing. Like Silas,
they don’t mind the rain. Neither do they seem
bothered by their neighbors: the cardinal, the
yellow finch, and—a new favorite—the rose-breasted
grosbeak. What community do you have? What are you
At this moment, I am astonished by the colors in my
backyard: copper, crimson, amber, saffron, indigo,
cream, ivory, and jade. All these fancy words, but
there’s no need for them; the colors are pure… they
are gentle: red, yellow, blue, white, and green. Who
knew heaven was right outside my back door?
Chances are good that by the end of
the day, I’ll lament at least once that the rain
means I’ll have to start my cantankerous lawnmower.
But that’s for then when the chirps and songs of my
feathered friends will be interrupted by the ballads
of small engines that mow the dandelions into
oblivion, and life will be back to its usual, hectic
self. But that’s for then when the gentleness will
turn to jaggedness.
All these simple, often unnoticed glimpses of grace
will be gone…until the next time, I take the time to
set aside the ‘work’ and watch the world go by.
With all of this, I can’t help but turn to Psalm 8:
“O Adonai, our Sovereign,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!”
“When I look at your heavens, the work of your
the moon and the stars that you have established;
what are human beings that you are mindful of them,
mortals that you care for them?”
That’s the good news, friends. God has gifted us
with creation. It isn’t meant to be used or
exploited but cherished and loved in a way that all
of creation is celebrated, honored, and adored.
How will you celebrate creation? How will you name
God’s presence? Or maybe you need to ‘let go’ of
something to delight in God’s goodness.
Perhaps we could be like the bunting; perhaps we
might sing our own song and tune... but—just
maybe—we might sing with them in one, common lyric,
“See it! See it!”
Adam Quine, pastor at First
United Presbyterian Church in Lincoln