Sounds of late spring are noisy today . . .

Powerful south winds are tossing large branches to and fro across the top of our magnificent pecan tree. They cause clamoring low tones and screaming higher pitches to erupt from my wind chimes.

A pitiful, annoying cawing from a young blue jay reverberates over and over through our yard. The fledgling’s constant cries growing ever louder, silenced only when its open mouth is filled.

Squirrels chatter in frustration as they try to get seeds from a bird feeder which closes because of their weight. Songs from a variety of other birds fill the air of our neighborhood.

All creation is indeed singing of the abundant diversity, beauty, provision and life given by our Lord. Strong winds are echoing the power and majesty of God.

I sit. Read. Meditate. Pray. Praise . . . but the noise distracts.

Finally, winds subside. Jay is calmed. Wind chimes stilled.

Silence ensues . . . I wait upon the Lord. Listen for direction. Absorb His presence. Reminded that life is so much bigger than anything I face, I rest. I unload my burdens.

Though I minister among an area of our city wrought with need, I cannot affect wholesale change. I cannot fix the world’s problem. Admittedly, it is sinful for me to think I could, so I cry out to the One who can.

Hundreds of children struggle beneath the weight of cyclical poverty. Simple existence is a difficulty beyond what many of us will ever be able to grasp.

And yet, deep in the well of childhood there still exists droplets of joy. Children who are remarkably resilient and possess enduring perseverance are children who can claim small moments of joy with great gusto.

A couple of days ago, I looked into the faces of young ones enjoying such moments at an elementary school field day. Enormous water slides. Freedom from class. Sno-cones for all . . . unfettered joy!

One first grader, part of our church’s mentoring ministry who has struggled to learn to express himself in English, came up to me multiple times.  He seemed so pleased that I was watching him come down the slides.

Climbing up. Waiting his turn. Sliding down, splashing into a pool of water. Then getting out to do it all over again! Eyes twinkling with joy expressed what his words could not.

His sweet innocent smile resonated within me. For I knew that all else had faded into those moments of simple childhood joys. He was having fun and wanted me to know.

His joy overflowed. And I was blessed by his smile.

That brief encounter reminded me why we serve among this school’s children. I saw a glimpse of the fruits of our labors.

As I reflected on those moments, I hand my burdens over to the One who carries me and should carry them.

My focus shifts away from the deep needs among the children and centers on the Lord who delights in manifesting His power in our weakness. The Lord who is faithful. The Lord who is our hope.

A breeze suddenly caresses my face. A white-winged dove comes to rest a few feet away. Peace has landed . . .