The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein. - Psalm 24:1 ESV
During the time of my brief visit to my dad at a retreat for Alzheimer’s patients near his home in Albuquerque, I spent most of the time outside. The courtyard was attractive and pleasant. My brother and stepmother and I would stroll around the intertwined, paved paths with Dad using his walker, or sit in the shade. Dad’s hearing is mostly gone, as is his mem-ory, so there were not long conversations. But he enjoyed having us create conversation and community around him, evoking feelings of home.
Another thing Dad enjoyed was watching me do a bit of gardening. I noticed one planter filled with some giant kale plants along with several herbs. The plants were leaning at awkward angles; weeds had emerged. While the patients were very well cared for, this planter had escaped notice! So I shifted a few plant cages, found sticks to support the kale, and did a little weeding. The others watched in approval and laughter with Dad smiling.
My thought was, “My dad worked hard for almost 35 years planting his hillside acre with cacti, piñon pines, Russian sage, and rosemary, watering his trees, cutting dead growth, and spearing fallen leaves—till he was 91.” His new world needed to be brought up to his standards.
Shall we not apply the same thought in care of our Father’s world every day? Not just to gardens but to cultivating the lives of “those who dwell therein”? Paul said, “ . . . just as you know how we were exhorting and encouraging and imploring each one of you as a father would his own children, so that you would walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory” (1 Thessalonians 2:11-12).
This is our Father’s world.
Cornerstone Community Church
One-Year Bible Reading
1 Thessalonians 2:9-3:13