The days are warmer. Schedules are slow. Summer is half gone. As this beautiful season marches on, God’s hand in creation is evident in brand new ways. Summer can be a busy time for activities and family gatherings, but if you pause and look God's hand is present everywhere.
Last week, my son and I were in the backyard as the sun was setting. He had sprayed off his dusty feet with cool water from the hose. As the spray fell, he studied the darkening dots of moisture landing on our concrete patio. Puddles formed and he pushed at them with toes, shiny and wet. Tree frogs chirped. The wind blew gently.
And I found myself taken with the beautiful simplicity of the moment. When my son turned and looked at me, he smiled and the pink-orange light from a sunset nearly finished lit the side of his face. For a moment I paused to take in the beauty of the moment instead of rushing on to the next thing.
As I paused to seize this quiet moment, out of the corner of my eye, I saw it. A gentle glimmer above the garden. A green-glow-glint and then gone--a lightening bug. “Did you see that, buddy?” I asked my boy.
“What? What did you see?” he responded.
“A lightening bug by the tomato plants.” He slipped his cool, damp hand in mine and we walked closer for a better look. We stood stock-still and waited. Eyes wide, we watched.
“There it is!” he exclaimed, running forward. “And there it is again! Did you see it, momma? Did you?” In his excitement I saw the treasure of God's instruction to be still and acknowledge him as Lord (Psalm 46:10). It is when we slow down and find these still moments that God's presence is seen.
I squatted down behind my son and wrapped my arms around his shoulders. I looked closely and saw the quick lights he was watching. Leaning in, I said to him, “Isn’t God amazing? Can you imagine thinking up such an incredible insect?” As we considered the work of God's hands, we shared the amazement of the Psalmist in awe of God's workmanship (read Psalm 8!). How incredible that God put so much creativity into each creature that he made.
My son leaned back on me and sighed. The sun now set, the garden dark, the lights were clear to see. Here and there, flying and walking, yellow and green, sparkling and flashing. Lightening bugs all around.
In that moment in my backyard, my sweet boy in my arms, I remembered. I remembered how much we have to teach our kids. I remembered that it is just not enough to see the light if we ignore the One who made it Himself. James 1:17 tells us, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change." All these good gifts are from our ever faithful God.
Summer holds time with less distraction. The days are longer and the world comes alive. We have these months to spend with our children, amazed by the wonder of creation and falling in love with the Creator in whole new ways. Lord, give us eyes to see.
Rev. Dr. Rob Toornstra