Meandering Along the River’s Edge

~by Virginia Anson Rhys, OFS

All Creation Praises the Lord


Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord;

Praise and exalt Him above all forever…

You heavens, bless the Lord

Praise and exalt Him above all forever.

All you waters above the heavens, bless the Lord;

Praise and exalt Him above all forever…

Sun and moon, bless the Lord;

Praise and exalt Him above all forever.

Stars of heaven, bless the Lord;

Praise and exalt Him above all forever.

Every shower and dew, bless the Lord;

Praise and exalt Him above all forever.

All you winds, bless the Lord;

Praise and exalt Him above all forever…

Let the earth bless the Lord;

Praise and exalt Him above all forever…

You sea monsters and all water creatures, bless the Lord;

Praise and exalt Him above all forever.

All you birds of the air, bless the Lord;

Praise and exalt Him above all forever.

All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord;

Praise and exalt Him above all forever.

All you mortals, bless the Lord;

Praise and exalt Him above all forever.

Daniel 3:57-82

All of creation praises God. Through its simple act of being, through its simple act of daily living, through its simple humility. Each creature, each plant, each fragment of nature lauds its Creator by merely living the existence, the purpose, the life to which God created it.

Nature doesn’t aspire to grandiose lofts. True that the lion fights to lead the pride, or the stallion to command the herd. But there is no vainglory in the act. Merely the faithful living of a divinely preordained existence–the pure honoring of its Lord.

The ox and lamb and donkey adored the Christ in the stable of Jesus’ birth. Not with flamboyant fanfare. Not with herculean feats. Not with boisterous voice. But by performing the lowly task assigned to each. Donkey meekly transported the Messiah’s mother to the place of His birth. Ox warmed Him with the air of its breath. Lamb looked on at the side of its shepherd, ready to offer its warming fleece. Each worshiping, without pretense, the Savior attired in humble garb and lying in an animal’s feeding trough.

Wildlife adores by instinct, through its mere act of living, the Author of its life. Meadowlark sings her lilting tune. Eagles build their nest at lofty heights. Osprey incubates her young, awaiting tiny beaks that peck away at their egg shell wombs. Snowy owl hunts with silent, nocturnal stealth. All praise the Lord of Life.

Meerkats, quite jovial, energetic critters, emerge from their underground dens and perch on hind haunches to greet the morning—and the God Who ordained it. Juvenile kats play tag. Nursemaid kats mind the newly birthed. Hunting parties seek the next clan meal. Meerkats fulfilling their innate roles, partaking in typical meerkat bustle. Each clan member praising God by simply being itself. Nothing more, nothing less.

Spider concocts an intricate web, a trap for unsuspecting prey. Hour upon hour he weaves, spiral upon spiral. An endless task as webs break, becoming dismantled by oblivious passersby. Yet reconstruct he does. Then he patiently waits to entrap a meal. Mundane though it may seem, he praises his Maker through hours of such tedium, spinning with inborn skill, web upon web. Praising by being himself, miniscule though he may seem to human eyes.

Tree frog croaks its prayer to God. Firefly signals its code of light. Hummingbird zips and hovers among nectar-laden blooms. Rainbow trout glides above river’s pebbled bed. Each glorifying its Designer through divinely fashioned uniqueness.

Trees house an avian covey, squirrels twitching feathery tails, primates catapulting from arboreal crown to arboreal crown. Trees grow grandly where they are planted. Never do they seek an alternative spot. Generously do they provide oxygen and homes and food for animal kind. Banyan sprouts multiple trunks. Pine dons ever present needles. Maple attires in vibrant red pigment. Birch garbs a black patched trunk of white. Aspen’s golden fall leaves sparsely populate. Tree’s summit reflects sun’s glow. Branches stretch heavenward, paying homage to their Lord.

Trees. Content to flaunt the handiwork of their Creator, expecting no—and seldom receiving—accolades and thanks for all that they bestow. Trees. Praising God by their very existence.

Creation likely realizes not that it is exalting its Maker; but its beauty, its distinctness, its existence show the love and the power and the creativity of God. And who is to say that creation does not realize that it is lauding God?

Nature reflects back to God His love, His power, and His artistry. Through this reflection, it praises God by its simple, humble existing. It reflects God’s love back to Him. It praises God, its Master Architect.

Power and reflection, characteristics of water that, at times, acclaim God’s greatness deafeningly. And in the inverse, at times with a mild mumble. Waterfall cascading at intense pitch its seven stories, foaming at its return of four of those stories from its base. River gliding along a forested path of its own carving, sustaining its myriad of life. Ocean with eons of saline wetness to depths in miles, surface of sightless borders, volumes of life homed within. Water, the essential element of life on planet Earth. Sustaining life–for it can do no other–likely without the realization of its enormous charge. Praising God in its modesty of mere being.

Wind blows as it will. Miniscule breeze. Tornadic gale. It has no say in its track. Simply blows as the Creator directs. Merely being. Detaching fall’s leaves, stirring cyclonic funnels, guiding snows along an easterly path. Executing its feats with nary a thought that it could do else. Praising its Maker in its meekness and its roar.

Planets, galaxies, suns, meteors—the universe in its immenseness showcases the power and majesty of its imponderable Creator. God’s magnificent grandeur magnanimously displayed. Innumerable orbits–moons around planets, planets encircling suns. Stars of colossal energy. Gluttonous black holes. Unfathomably immense universe—or possibly multiple universes. A cosmos of perfectly ordered design. Celestial elements praising their Lord.

Earth, far from the most grandiose of planets, maintains her unpretentious position from Sun. From distant telescoping eyes, her life sustaining secret remains well hidden. She sustains a myriad of life on, above, and below her surface. She gives each animal, each plant, each mineral the elements needed for existence. She does this without a gloat. She praises her God.

Earth praises God. Creatures, minute and grand, praise God. Rivers and oceans praise God. Wind and fire praise God. All of nature praises its generous Creator Who willed each into existence by His intense love. All praise God by merely being the simple creatures and powers and elements that He made them to be, preforming the unique tasks that He assigned to each.

Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord.

Praise and exalt Him above all forever.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Virginia Anson grew up in the shadows of Sandia Crest in New Mexico. Family camping trips may have sparked her passion for nature. She holds an A.S. in Electronics Technology, a B.A. in Writing, an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, and a certificate in Wildlife/Forestry Conservation. Her book, Mother Earth’s Caretakers, targets middle school youngsters and is published as an e-book for Kindle. Virginia is a Vietnam Era veteran of the U.S. Air Force, and her volunteer endeavors see her as a lector, Eucharistic minister, and sacristan in her parish and as a habitat steward for the National Wildlife Federation. She especially cherishes her life in the Secular Franciscan Order, following in the footsteps of St. Francis of Assisi.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT MEANDERING ALONG THE RIVER’S EDGE ARCHIVE.

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