“How Beautiful is the Earth…”



One of the things that has been of greatest concern to me in the Trump presidency thus far [and I am aware plenty of folks have a long list here], is the rollback of environmental protections, and the risk this poses to all kinds of different animals and their habitats.  We’re already in a crisis with global warming [see the current water shortage in Cape Town, for example], and expanding drilling, shrinking staff, and relaxing regulations all just exacerbate this crisis.

I am feeling the vulnerability of frogs, rhinos, sharks, and dozens and dozens of other animal species whose very existence is teetering on the brink of extinction.  And, just to state the obvious, there is no coming back from extinction.  Once the last giant otter, Sumatran rhino, and Amur leopard are gone, they are gone for good.  Such a loss is incalculable.

I think that is why I was particularly moved by this version of Psalm 84, in Psalms Redux, by Carla Grosch-Miller.  This is all but the last part, and it is heartrendingly-lovely.  I hope you enjoy it.

How beautiful, how bountiful is the earth! How astounding, how awesome are the heavens! As far as the eye can see and beyond, by telescope and microscope, creation’s glory expands the heart in wonder.

The scent of a rose in an overgrown garden seduces. Gigantic orange poppies with purple-black centres stun. The surround-sound of birdsong uplifts. The dance of butterflies around buddleia tickles. Even the prick of the bramble delights, promising sun-warmed blackberry juice at summer’s end.

This is our home – through soil and son, a miracle of multiplying, evolving cells.

This is our home – as much a part of us as we are of our parents and of our children.

This is our home – ours to know and to love, to cherish, protect and behold.

This is our home – and it is more glorious than we can know.

Our home, the dwelling place of muskrats and marmots, kingfishers and kittiwakes, sunfish and sharks. Our home, where abides the holy and unholy, chaos and creativity, and the living, dying, resurrecting eternally of now.

I fall to my knees in thanksgiving and praise. May my eyes ever be open to Your splendor. May my ears ever be tuned to the pulse of life and the song of stars. May my heart ever be receptive to the real and the holy with in it – in pain and sorrow, in plenty and want, in joy and gratitude.


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