Monday, May 7, 2012

Mercies Like Manna

This morning I took a walk in the garden with the Lord in the less hot cool of the day. It began as a photo-gathering errand, but the words of St. Francis' hymn transformed it, and suddenly I was gathering mercies like manna instead, watching and listening to the Creation's praise of its Maker.

God's mercies do fall like manna, fresh every day, settling over me while I sleep, awaiting me with the coffee before I even set one foot in the kitchen. Every day's differ, yet their common source binds them together in unity.

"The Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning" (James 1:17) ensures plenty of grace for today. Like the manna He fed the Israelites on their pilgrimage, our daily bread arrives right on time, plentiful for all of us, adequate for the day. There's no need to hoard in fear for tomorrow (not that I haven't tried) ; there will be more to be had in the morning.

Even the Israelites were invited to store up one omer of manna in the ark beneath the mercy seat before the Lord. Their forgetful hearts needed that souvenir of four decades of wilderness provision, four decades of clothes and shoes not wearing out, four decades of sustenance for millions of people, a nation in migration.

They still forgot, and so do I, but here nonetheless is my portion of manna, stored up in the cloud instead of the tabernacle, a memorial of this week's mercies presented back to the Lord who gave them.

5836. A few monarchs swooping through the plumbago

5837. That plumbago just blooming out, struggling to keep up with the butterflies

5838. The young birds learning how to use the feeder

5839. A handsome new visitor we haven't yet named

5840. A grey catbird foraging in the rose garden (Eating pillbugs? That would be 5840 1/2.)

5841. Last year's Easter lily blooming in the garden while Eastertide still remains

5842. Fragrant lavender happier than usual this year
 5843. Two kinds of tomatoes waiting to ripen

5844. Blackberries starting to turn

5845. Second-year hollyhocks towering above the rest of the garden

5845. Eyes to see the whole spectrum of colors
5846. Noticing new things (fruit?) about an old plant (Mexican yucca, Allen says)

5847. The dill as big as it's ever been, offering plenty of food and shelter for the caterpillars yet to come

5848. Our neighbor's Rose of Sharon full of crepe paper blooms
5849. The gentleness of the morning light
5850. Receiving text message love from vacationing friends and family
5851. Sister's finals over and done for the semester
5852. Lunch with my parents on a weekday
5853. The installation of our new pastor
5854. A slow Sunday afternoon
5855. Husband happy to head off for work on a Monday morning
5856. Beginning to learn the new schedule
5857. New insurance card arriving in the mail
5858. Use of a second car while my parents travel
5859. Reminders of the Good Shepherd, the Great Shepherd, throughout the Sunday worship service
5860. Hands cooperating for a few minutes at the piano this morning
5861. This beautiful forgotten verse of a familiar hymn:
And all ye men of tender heart,
Forgiving others, take your part,
O sing ye! Alleluia!
Ye who long pain and sorrow bear,
Praise God and on Him cast your care,
O praise Him! O praise Him!
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

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Praising Him with friends Ann, Laura, and Jen:

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