While I try to go through each day with my eyes open to the little signs of glory and truth that lie around me in the everyday, some days nothing much catches my eye or sinks in. Today was one of those days, my attention too divided for anything in particular to arrest me. So I found myself tonight looking back over photos from the long weekend just passed to see if anything could be a worthy subject for a reflection. This one caught my eye, an image of tall native grass that grows in the wetlands by the Werribee River just a few kilometres downstream from my house.
It reminded me of the many places in scripture when humanity is compared to grass: beautiful in its day but impermanent. Trying to locate one of these verses I found myself turning to Psalm 103, which contains these words:
The life of mortals is like grass,
they flourish like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more. (v.15-16
Taken by themselves these words could sound heartless, devaluing of human life. But in the psalm itself they are wedged between declarations of God’s fatherly and everlasting love:
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust. (v13-14)
But from everlasting to everlasting
the Lord’s love is with those who fear him. (v.17)
We might fade from the Earth’s memory as quickly as grass, but not from God’s. He holds us in His covenant of love from generation to generation, from everlasting to everlasting, even though we are dust.
The beauty God gives to temperary things is an instructive lesson in this. God values even the briefest flower, the shortest glance of a sunset. And, what’s more, He takes our momentary days and bestows eternal significance upon them.
It was fitting that, while my brain was drawn to verse 15, the verse of the day that appeared on Bible Gateway as I went in search of Psalm 103 was in fact verse 13: As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him…I may not have had eyes open much to see God in the small details of my day, but He had eyes open to see me, and He loves what He sees. May I see through the eyes of His love tomorrow.