I woke up today to a beautiful morning – blue sky, sun shining, gentle breeze. A pair of blue birds were making their presence known, flying in and out of our yard, happy to be alive.
How different for people 85 years ago. Melanie and I are watching Ken Burns’ Dust Bowl. Here is a newspaper article dated April 11, 1935.
Severe dust storms are hanging like a black scourge over about half of the United States, destroying millions of dollars’ worth of wheat crops, forcing untold numbers of people to flee from their farm homes as from a plague, and completely paralyzing all activities in some districts.
Breathing was not only difficult but dangerous. While human beings could protect themselves with masks of every sort, livestock suffered greatly. Dust pneumonia is rapidly increasing in children.
Little relief is in sight, as dust piles up inside houses. Schools and businesses are closed, traffic is stopped, and bereaved families are unable to bury their dead. In Texas birds are afraid to fly.
Clearly, we are not the first people to go through difficult times, nor the first to wear masks. But what would it be like for us not to be able to go outside and to be encouraged by the beauty of God’s creation? What was it like when dust clouds turned broad daylight into total darkness?
I am thankful to be able to look out the window and see trees and grass. Thankful to go outside and feel the breeze, plant some seeds, and see that birds still fly.
Stepping outside, looking and listening, gives me a new perspective, a new hope. After too much news, too much wondering and worrying, God’s creation offers a word of hope. Our Lord still is Lord, working in all the incredible details of life.
Open your eyes, open your ears. Get your hands into the soil and see that the Lord is good! Psalm 34:8
When asked, “What would you do if today was the last day?”, Martin Luther replied, “I’d plant a tree.”