Dear Friends,

I am not back from leave just yet! I am still in the US at my cousin’s wedding and enjoying some time with friends and family.

It seems, however, that I am always away from Canberra at the best times. In April I missed some of Canberra’s beautiful autumn colour and now, in September, I am missing some of the beautiful spring. (Hoping you are having some lovely weather!)

When I was at Collin Street Baptist Church a couple of weeks ago, they were working through a series on poetry in their morning services. I gave the final sermon in the series on psalms of lament. But Simon Carey Holt, the minister, began the service by reading Mary Oliver’s poem – The Summer Day.

This is such a gorgeous poem, One that, for me, expresses perfectly the glory of God revealed in our natural world and how we, as human beings, can respond to that glory.

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean —
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down —
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

Grace and peace – in this season and every season!


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