Heavens above, Earth below

Seek the Lord while he wills to be found;* call upon him when he draws near.

Let the wicked forsake their ways* and the evil ones their thoughts;

and let them turn to the Lord, and he will have compassion,* and to our God, for he will richly pardon.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,* nor your ways my ways, says the Lord.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth,* so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. 

For as rain and snow fall from the heavens* and return not again, but water the earth, bringing forth life and giving growth,* seed for sowing and bread for eating,

So is my word that goes forth from my mouth;* it will not return to me empty;

But it will accomplish that which I have purposed,* and prosper in that for which I sent it.

The Second Song of Isaiah (Is. 55:6-11), pp. 86-87, BCP

On one side of Blueberry Hill, just a hike away from Merrymeeting Lake, you’ll find Chalk Pond. It’s spring fed, and the breezes ruffle its surface almost constantly throughout the day. It’s not surprising to see white caps in the Spring and Fall, or for Winter winds to wipe its icy surface clean of snow. Summer sunshine makes a diamond of it, throwing light everywhere.

But evening brings a change. The winds die down and the sun’s rays cannot obscure its surface in a dazzle of light. As the stars appear in the sky, they appear on the dark mirror surface of Chalk Pond. What is above is so clearly captured below that one becomes indistinguishable from the other. Heavens above, heavens below – and the grace of seeing both hundreds and hundreds of times.

If I can be still in my soul, if I can let go of all that ruffles and disturbs, might I reflect in my own small life the infinite wonder of God’s grace?

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Johnna

I am a Christian educator and writer.I have worked in churches, denominational offices, and seminaries. I have a PhD in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, with a focus on Practical Theology and educating in faith. In 2010, my book, "How the Other Half Lives: the challenges facing clergy spouses and partners," was published by Pilgrim Press. I believe that words can build doorways that lead to encounters with God through the Spirit.

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