We are deep in the heart of summer. The days are long and hot. The sun washes everything in glowing light. Gardens of vegetables and flowers are growing high and colorful. The pavement is blisteringly hot, and it feels good to wear sandals and wiggle our toes. It is truly the definition of summertime right now.
A few years ago I was walking to church and noticed on my last few steps along the sidewalk before turning to go to the front doors that a tomato plant had somehow started to grow in the crack of the pavement. It was sprawling along the edge with several small, green tomatoes. I couldn’t believe that this plant had been able to take root, grow, and thrive in the midst of the hot, steamy sidewalk and was even producing fruit. I watched over it the next few weeks as more fruit grew from its branches and ripened into lovely red tomatoes. I showed my daughters and we picked ripe tomatoes to share with congregants at church. When we would explain where the tomato was growing, everyone was always amazed and would head out to take a look.
There is beauty in the world right around us, and sometimes we don’t even realize it. Walking down the street there are signs of God’s creation growing at our feet. Whether we are in the city or the country, the suburbs or the farm, God’s creation envelopes us every day. The heart of summer is a wonderful time to experience the Creator. We feel the summer sun, the heat, and remember how God created “the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night.” We see and smell the deep green vegetation around us and know that God has provided all we need. We hear the twitter of birds and feel ourselves surrounded by all creatures great and small. We feel the cool water of the pool, the lake, the hose, or the stream and know that God has washed us in living waters.
Dear God, we praise you for creating the world. We thank you that we are part of that creation. We see, hear, smell, touch, and taste the wonders of nature. Thank you for giving us the beauty that surrounds us today and always. Amen.