August 15, 2018
“When I consider the heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established, what is humankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?” Psalm 8:3-5
Mama’s killin’ flies. It was so hot last week, it felt like Alabama. Flies multiplied from nowhere, seeking shelter from the heat. I pictured Grandma’s linen dishcloth covering the peach pie on her kitchen table against the incessant farm flies. They came in unbidden whenever the back door slammed.
For a few days here in Maine, the heat and the flies brought back childhood visits to the farm. The dog cowered as I swatted, he was inquisitive at my apparent madness whacking windowsills. He backed away, concerned that I might turn on him at any moment.
I appreciate all God’s creatures, I really do. I say a prayer for them as I send them to heaven. Killin’ flies sends me to prayer every time. Forgiveness appears necessary for my significant character flaws, not the least of which is a lack of forbearance with flies.
I hope God is more patient with me than that. I suspect more often than I know, God must be annoyed with my behavior, surely as self-absorbed as any housefly seeking the light. I’d like to think my movements more purposeful by design, yet the psalmist asked then as I do now: “What am I that God should think of me at all?”
Maybe its time to find a new hobby: leave the flies to their daily occupations. They only live 28 days in any case. The span of our days too is so very brief, faster it seems as the years go by. When I think of the flies, I wonder aloud the familiar and holy question posed by poet Mary Oliver: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
Prayer: God who numbers our days and counts the hairs on our heads, we thank you that we, with all creation, are so fearfully and wonderfully made. Just for today, bring to mind with gratitude the precious gift of time.
God’s grace, mercy and peace,
Pastor Anna V. Copeland
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