When summer rolls around my happy place is the screened-in porch. Surrounded by the lush green magnolia tree, orange zinnias, white hydrangeas I find solace. Reading or praying at dawn or unwinding at sunset I feel the warmth of the summer rising the whisper of rain. Watching the yellow and red finches dart in and perch on the feeder and nibble on the seeds seems endlessly fascinating though I’m not quite sure why. I feel protective of the tiny birds when a brazen squirrel seeks to outwit the the system I’ve rigged for the birds to dine uninhibited by this furry intruder.

Screened in porch time is not just relaxing to the body but also calming for the soul; it’s more than peaceful but a sense of being embraced; it’s more than feeling at home but also connected to the larger natural order; and it’s more than wonder but also a holy awe and reverence. I hope that summer has invited you into a fresh engagement with creation. Whether it’s a hike with the kids in Colorado, sitting on the dock at Lake of the Ozarks, an evening stroll through the Loose Park rose garden we find ourselves enlivened by the splendor of creation and we notice something shifting within us. If you have been to a happy place in God’s created beauty this summer, send me a photo or a word to describe it.

How do we respond to this bounty? Not just consciously but subconsciously? How does this immersion into summer’s fullness awaken something within us? Dr. Mike Graves and I will explore this topic over the next two weeks in a sermon series called “Creation Cares.” Creation cares for us. And we care for creation. I like how Wendell Berry describes this relationship we share, a kinship that was born of the Divine and waits for our reply..

Since, despite the stern demands

Of scientist and realist, we will always
 be supposing, let us suppose
 that Nature gave the world flowers
and birdsong as a language by which
 it might speak to discerning humans.
 And what must we say back? Not
 just thanks or praise, but acts
 of kindness bespeaking kinship
 with the creatures and with Nature, acts
faithful as the woods that dwells in place
 time out of mind, self-denying
 as the parenthood of the birds, and like
 the flowers humble and beautiful.

Wendell Berry

This Day

Grace and Peace,

To send Carla an email click HERE.