Being home with my children full time has been much different than I thought it would be. As a working parent, they're in daycare five days a week. I get home from work and I’m exhausted… and I just try to get through the evening without letting my exhaustion take over.
But then this whole shelter-in-place thing happened, and after a few days of adjustment, I found myself really wanting to use this time to my family’s advantage. We’re outside together much more than we usually are, admiring flowers blooming and birds singing. Spending time outside has been a gift, and admiring the beauty around us has been very special to me during this time of isolation.
With the world in such an odd place right now, it seems as if God’s wild creatures are blissfully ignorant of the coronavirus as they continue pollinating flowers, making nests, finding food, or catching a snooze in the sunlight.
However, there are rainy days and being stuck at home with twin toddlers isn’t quite as easy! So we go out on drives and explore neighborhoods near and far from our home in Mount Airy. One afternoon, the hymn “All Things Bright and Beautiful” began to play via my cell phone and our car’s Bluetooth system. This was a favorite hymn of mine as a child and one that we’ve sung to our children many, many times. My son beamed and said: “Daddy, it’s all things bright and beautiful!” And my daughter continued: “But it isn’t a beautiful day.” It was a wonderful opportunity to talk with my children about finding beauty on a day that doesn’t seem so beautiful.
And so I leave you with this beautiful hymn text, written by Cecil Frances Alexander (1818-1895) as part of her 1848 publication, Hymns for Little Children. The entire text is her “take” on one line from the Apostles’ Creed: “Maker of heaven and earth.”
Refrain: All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful, the Lord God made them all.
1: Each little flow’r that opens, each little bird that sings,
He made their glowing colors, he made their tiny wings. [Refrain]
2: The purple-headed mountain, the river running by,
The sunset, and the morning that brightens up the sky. [Refrain]
3: The cold wind in the winter, the pleasant summer sun,
The ripe fruits in the garden, he made them, ev’ry one. [Refrain]
4: He gave us eyes to see them, and lips that we might tell
How great is God Almighty, who has made all things well. [Refrain]
Click here to listen to a recording of the hymn.