This is My Father’s World…

I’ve had one of those weeks when I’ve needed reminders that somehow God has me and this world in his loving care, despite the fact that it might seem otherwise at times. And God has given me the reminders I’ve needed, sometimes when I’ve least expected them and have (literally) almost stumbled over them.

Sunday morning I sat on my front deck with tea in hand, Milo snuggled beside me, and Petra and Ramble lounging nearby. I pulled out a healing prayer exercise a friend had emailed me and started to pray, but was immediately distracted by a repeated “cheeping” coming from the yard. When I looked, I saw a father Robin popping a worm into his young fledgling’s open beak. As I watched, the father searched the grass, his hungry youngster continuing to beg for food. Every time the father found a worm, he flew to the fledgling and fed it. After about half an hour I needed to leave, and I had scarcely looked at the prayer exercise, but I left with heart and soul soothed and filled by the gift of a visual prayer answer and the words of Jesus running through my mind: “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good…” Matthew 7:11

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The next morning I was walking in the yard, when I saw a doe standing in the middle of the yard where the dogs and I had just been, her neck stretched high as she watched us. A minute or two later she was again watching us, this time from one of the paths at the edge of the yard, and then from a third spot, all as we walked once around the house. I don’t know how she managed to get ahead of us through the woods so quietly, but I didn’t hear her and thankfully the dogs never noticed her. I was careful not to draw their attention to her, so they wouldn’t give chase, and we had just gotten back to the door so I could put the dogs inside, when I suddenly saw a tiny fawn curled up in the lilies (and abundant weeds), just a couple of feet from where the dogs had run when we had first gone outside! These little fawns lie so quietly and have so little odor that my alert dogs hadn’t noticed this little one, even when they ran right by it. The dogs and I spent the rest of the day inside to avoid disturbing the Mama and her beautiful fawn, while I watched through binoculars and reflected on the doe’s watchful care over her baby while it rested and slept, seemingly alone, but always under her eye.

Fawn 061118

I’ve been listening to some of my favorite nature hymns, and one that really strikes a chord today as I think about these reminders of God’s presence in the world around me is “This is My Father’s World,” by Maltbie D. Babcock. I especially like Fernando Ortega’s rendering of it– This is My Father’s World— Fernando Ortega’s rendering of this wonderful old hymn

This is My Father’s World, by Maltbie D. Babcock, 1901

  1. This is my Father’s world,
    And to my list’ning ears
    All nature sings, and round me rings
    The music of the spheres.
    This is my Father’s world:
    I rest me in the thought
    Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas—
    His hand the wonders wrought.
  2. This is my Father’s world:
    The birds their carols raise,
    The morning light, the lily white,
    Declare their Maker’s praise.
    This is my Father’s world:
    He shines in all that’s fair;
    In the rustling grass I hear Him pass,
    He speaks to me everywhere.
  3. This is my Father’s world:
    Oh, let me ne’er forget
    That though the wrong seems oft so strong,
    God is the ruler yet.
    This is my Father’s world,
    The battle is not done:
    Jesus who died shall be satisfied,
    And earth and Heav’n be one.

7 Replies to “This is My Father’s World…”

  1. Lovely Melissa! Well said, and always appreciate your art. One of MY favorite hymns, too. I like to sing it. Double meaning, reminding me of my nature-loving Dad (who passed when I was quite young) as well as God! 🙂

  2. This is truly beautiful. How blessed to be in the midst of so much life. I love this hymn. I didn’t know it until I sang it to Mary as part of our kindergarten curriculum, My Father’s World.