All Creation Sings
Suzanne Cain

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Last week our family was able to follow through with some of our Spring Break plans by staying in a cabin near Jasper for a few days.  It was very nice to get out of town and head up state highway 7 where social distancing is pretty built in.  I always love to see old structures in rural Arkansas.  Some a mere shadow of their former selves of 40 or 50 years ago.  It’s interesting to see old houses with obvious attempts of restoration.  Fresh wood and paint that don’t quite match the original dilapidated and weathered exterior.   Sometimes you just keep the old like it is and build something completely brand new right beside it.   The paradox of opposites – old and new, living and dying is something I have been thinking a lot about lately, especially as we have entered into Spring. 

I wasn’t expecting the landscape just a few hours north of Little Rock to still be so dormant.  Most of the trees and bushes were starkly bare.  Around the cabin and out the overlooks were pretty gray.    


The first day we hiked to Triple Falls Trailhead.  And yes, there was a triple waterfall!  Side note, the trail had not been closed, and it wasn’t that crowded.  Also, Jasper (population 466) is just the cutest little town.  Even though it felt like we were so far removed from the angst of Little Rock and the outside world, the small cafes and restaurants were also not open to inside dining and only doing take out. 

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We were able to climb to the top of the fall and look down over it. There wasn’t really a pool on top, just a long stream feeding the right one and two shorter streams feeding the others. The far left fall seemed to have the most rushing power as it poured out from the side of the mountain from under a rock. I wish you could hear it. And these caught my eye.

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Every where I looked trees were barren, but living water flowed. Bright green vividly contrasted lifeless brown. As Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote, “Earth is crammed with Heaven”.

Never have I been more aware and in awe of the way the earth mirrors humanity. Nature was so profound in the way she expressed the paradox of opposites. New life was just beginning to emerge from its hibernation among the vegetation’s dried up and withered condition. The turning of the season could not be missed. And it was loud! I thought about a song the choir sang in the fall, “If we keep silent the rocks will cry out. And if we don’t praise him the earth will shout. Let all the world sing praises to the King! Sing Hallelujah”!

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Green velvet rocks and garden fairy umbrellas. The Earth all crammed full of Heaven. Crammed with love and beauty. Also crammed with death and dying. I thought many times as we hiked, again feeling so far removed from what is going on all over the world – even in tiny Jasper, Arkansas, yet feeling all the anxiety and hurts that people we know are feeling. And seeing it reflected in nature. Holding the tensions – that is all of our life. Longing for life in the midst of death, searching for hope in the midst of confusion, desiring peace in the midst of chaos, listening for music that soothes and heals in the midst of noise, looking for contentment in the midst of comparison. Surely the earth feels these tensions as well. Does it have unanswered questions? Maybe.

The image below was one of the paths we walked and I treaded lightly. How does that even happen? Talk about a narrow road to life! I sure hated to leave that path.

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Creator of all things, today, may we seek your face and be satisfied. Help us to hold these tensions long enough to acknowledge that somehow they are for our healing, but not so long that it blocks our view of all things crammed with Heaven. As this season continues to unfold, inside our hearts and houses and hospitals, we know that all of creation is holding tensions with us. From the core of the earth to the farthest galaxies and the tiny humans dwelling in the middle, we are one creation created to sing Hallelujah! And so we sing . . . .

Praise God from whom all blessings flow,

Praise God all creatures here below

Praise God above ye heavenly host

Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.


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