For the Beauty of the Earth

We have seen some difficult things this week. With the losses I mentioned in an earlier post on my mind and the additional grief over the chemical attack in Syria and the news that today will bring news of the life or death of a young mom who is battling two severe illnesses at the same time, I have felt myself being tempted to despair. When I think of the world that my daughter will grow up in, I worry. What if the world we know collapses and before long our daughters and sons who are being gassed in their homes? Yesterday I told God out loud “Okay, this isn’t fun anymore. Jesus, you can come back now.”

But we aren’t forgotten. God knows what is going on down here, and Christ’s return will be perfectly timed. We will all agree, when we see it. So for now, we wait. In agony, sometimes, but always in hope. Hopefully.

This morning, as I felt myself slipping into the bog of despair, I was thinking through ways to combat my worry and anxiety. Pat phrases have no effect on me, and even sturdy Christian truths sometimes are not enough to bring me out of my slide. What helped me this morning was an unexpected song: For the Beauty of the Earth. A song of thankfulness. What I needed most was to have my attention drawn to the wonderful things we have hear on earth. Amidst the pain and problems of this world, there is beauty all around us. What a gift! Even when everything is going wrong, we have so much to be thankful for. I needed to hear that this morning. Maybe you do too.

1. For the beauty of the earth,
for the glory of the skies,
for the love which from our birth
over and around us lies;
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.

2. For the beauty of each hour
of the day and of the night,
hill and vale, and tree and flower,
sun and moon, and stars of light;
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.

3. For the joy of ear and eye,
for the heart and mind’s delight,
for the mystic harmony,
linking sense to sound and sight;
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.

4. For the joy of human love,
brother, sister, parent, child,
friends on earth and friends above,
for all gentle thoughts and mild;
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.

5. For thy church, that evermore
lifteth holy hands above,
offering up on every shore
her pure sacrifice of love;
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.

6. For thyself, best Gift Divine,
to the world so freely given,
for that great, great love of thine,
peace on earth, and joy in heaven:
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.

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