"The pastures of the wilderness overflow, the hills gird themselves with joy . . . the valleys deck themselves with grain, they shout and sing together for joy." - Psalm 65:11-12
Years ago on a gorgeous summer day I drove across Chicago to visit a parishioner named Elisabeth. She had just moved from a lovely apartment to a nursing home. It was a good facility, but it was a facility. She would be living with a roommate she did not know. She didn't want to move. She was afraid it would be like living in a prison. I walked down the hall toward her room feeling bad for her. When I found her she was sleeping. I sat down in a chair next to her bed. She woke up a few minutes later, blinking slowly.
I said, "How is it here?" And then, she sat up, and pointed dramatically, to the window next to her bed. I looked and saw treetops swaying in the wind and sunlight bouncing off of them. With delight in her voice she said, "Pastor, you can see seven different shades of green from this window. Just look how the colors move."
Christ was with Elisabeth. In her window there were no iron bars, just green and light and the goodness of God. A God who made a world where meadows dance, city trees overflow and the view out your window can surprise you as it shouts for joy.
Dear God, thank you for giving us glee and beauty right outside our windows.
Matt Fitzgerald is the Senior Pastor of St. Pauls United Church of Christ, Chicago, IL.