Praise God, sun and moon,
Praise God, all you shining stars!
Praise God, you highest heavens,
and you waters above the heavens!
Praise the Lord from the earth,
you sea monsters and all deeps,
fire and hail, snow and frost,
stormy wind fulfilling God’s command! *
Minnesotans have many ways of dealing with long winters, and one of them is to bundle up, get out of the house, and just ENJOY the weather. There is skiing, sledding, ice skating, snowshoeing, ice fishing, snowmobiling, and pond hockey.
On a recent weekend, my husband Terry and I drove north to Duluth for a long weekend, with the hope of doing a little outdoor activity. We brought all our gear for winter hiking and our cameras to practice our new hobby, nature photography. On a bright sunny day, we headed out for a drive along the lake shore.
Little did we realize the awesome sight we were about to see. While hiking in a state park overlooking the frozen Lake Superior, we heard a sound we could not comprehend. It reminded us a little of rain, but not quite.
Following the unusual sound, we hiked about a quarter-mile, up a little hill and along an icy cliff. Peering carefully over the edge, we saw it: large, clear ice pieces, shaped like panes of glass, floating and bumping against the rocky shoreline. Some pieces were even piled against the shore, their jagged edges pointing to the sky.
You can see and hear this sparkling ice for yourself, by clicking on this video Terry posted on YouTube, “North Shore Superior – March 2013”:
I often feel God’s presence in a special way in nature. It’s not that I hear words or see a vision. The beauty of God’s creation sometimes exhilarates me, and other times hushes my soul. I feel awe walking in the midst of God’s creation. I delight in the vast beauty of places such as Lake Superior.
And that awe or delight is often a prayer without words–at least that’s how I experience it. It feels like a special type of prayer that glorifies God deep within.
It’s not so easy to explain this kind of prayer in words. But perhaps if you have experienced a similar feeling in the great outdoors, you will understand.
Until next time, Amen!
*From Psalm 148:3-4, 7-8.