My backyard is filled with peace. Huge trees. Prolific ferns. Caladiums and impatiens. Beauty. And birds . . .

I love watching them. I’ll not bore you with a long list of the ones I can readily identify – thanks in large part to my 100 year old friend who was an avid birder most of her life. She could identify a bird long before she could see it simply by listening to its song. She often deciphered what I had seen on vacation through my feeble attempt to put their appearance and beauty into words. And she still enjoys the birds outside her window, if only through a description given to her almost sightless eyes by another.

A few years ago, driving home one night and turning toward our garage entrance, my lights flashed onto our birdbath – illuminating a huge Great Horned Owl {gargantuan compared to the finches and chic-a-dees which often frequent our yard!} Excitedly, I soon visited my friend and described what I had seen. Her obvious joy seemed palatable, as if she had seen it with me.

More recently, over the past month, we have seen Great Horned owlets . . . three of them! Always just past dusk, so my photos are way too dark to offer as evidence. But what a joy to see them, flying in and staying to bathe. To be refreshed in the water I try to replenish each afternoon.

And even though my friend’s health has dramatically declined since I saw the adult owl, still she became very cognizant as I described the small owlets appearing each evening in our yard. Not surprising though that something she had so diligently studied all of her life could penetrate the dim and relatively silent world in which she now exists. It was such a joy to watch her face break into a smile we rarely see anymore and to sense her excitement about our discovery.

Oh God, do you still yearn to penetrate our dimness of heart and deafness of spirit? Do you send us pictures of your love and care and beauty throughout your created world?

Yes, my answer would be a resounding yes.

God yearns for us to see His handiwork and acknowledge Him. God yearns for us to be reminded that all is never lost, beauty rises from ashes, storms pass, and resilience is pictured all around us on a daily basis.

How will we respond?

With spiritual blindness, deafness, or lethargy? Or will we respond with great joy at what we see? Will we bow before our God in gratitude for the unrivaled creativity and beauty which abounds in the natural world? Will we tell others of the glories of our Lord?

The Lord sends forth springs in the valleys . . . gives drink to every beast of the field . . . Above them the birds of the heavens dwell, giving forth their voices among the branches . . . Oh give thanks to the LORD, call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples. Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; speak of all His wonders. Psalm 104:10-12, 105:1-2