Dew has fallen in the night,
Wetting grass blades thin.
And now that morning comes, the droplets
Sparkle in the lengths of growing grass.

Today, the Lord has cast
Sparkling beadlets on the grass,
Nature's tiny, beaded gems
Of light on greeny rising stems.

The dew-scatterings of gemlets
Weave God's signature in stringlets
On ev'ry vieny blade of grass.
How the dew beads shine as gems!
Riches enough to horde, or even bathe in,
Were I able to gather them in!
But lo! I bid the glitterings stay, not pass,
To grace the beauteous, bladling grass.

copyright 1997-2004 by Marilee Miller; copying allowed if no profit-making is involved


ATTRACTIONS IN DISTRACTIONS, along a graveled trail.

     Pain is an enemy to be ignored or countered with a digression.  Pain is often with me. But may the Lord be with me more! I am always searching for distractions from the pain. Looking for attractions to draw my heart closer to the One who helps and understands.

     Of course, when there is constant pain, a person has to work harder, look harder, to find the Lord.  And to feel his joy. But I find many atractions to testify that joy and God are surely everywhere.

     Down the street from my house, in a wide expanse of vacant lot next to a housing project, dandelion seed heads by the thousands blow. (A menace to the gardener, the breeze spreading fluff and puff to raise next summer's wider crop.) But to me they produce a vivid sign of God prolific, abundant creativity.

     There are the rows of apartments, created by the work of man, in imitation of the builder, God. But we do not look to the cities of man as our reward, but we look to a city whose builder and maker is God.

     Recently, the owners of the housing cluster have developed a gravelled service trail. (It's for their own use; however, I have permission to walk there.) The trail winds down from the street, following the benchland just above the valley floor. Then it meanders back up to street level again on other side of the small development.

     To walk along this short service trail is a solitary act, but not a loneliness. It is a worship experience.  For so much abounds to remind me of the grace and character of God.

     There are the leaves, and a few tired trees: tracings of his attention focused on me. There is the wide expanse of sky, where God has painted his "restfulness" across the paciousness. There are background hills of greeny blues and greens, to say that though life's mountains may be jagged and hipped, his beauty is written there.

     Making myself look at leaf and tree and sky and weed, forces a distraction from the effect of pain. The hurt is still there. But not the focal point of my existence any more. For I have asked God to show me himself in each and every thing.

     To go down the trail, amid the scruffy willow and autumn-drying grass, is to step into God's world, out of man's. Two shiny black horses flag their tails in pasture far. The valley lands in nearer field are cropped as close, but with raggle taggle grasses along a fencerow.

     There is something along the wire mesh of fence to distract me from a centerpiece of living with daily pain.

     It's a special attraction for me -- something pleasant to look forward to, the work of God again, though others would call it only tiny tufts of wool.

     Baa baa black sheep graze down along the valley floor. But now and again they must come up against the fence. Maybe they love to scratch their wooly heads on the wire. Or perhaps they get too close in hoping the "grass is greener on the other side." In any event, they leave behind tiny tuftlets of wool on the wires -- black, from their faces and legs, or brownish from their weather-bleached-out coats.

     The left-behind wool twines round and round the barbed wire, wherever there is a junction in the mesh. I walk along the trail, not only admiring the God who speaks to me from
wind and grass and scrub willow, but gives me the utmost
pleasure and privilege of unwinding each tuft of wool.

     Such tiny wisps, to cling to the wire so tightly!

     How did they ever get wound round and round so? I find them very hard to pull off again.

     Left hand for black; right hand for brown. I hoard the mini-portions, gathering them, balling the wool in my fists to "felt", or mat, it back together where I have had to forcibly tear it loose from wire joints.

     How much pleasure it is to anticipate a use for such cast-offs. Pain no longer seems such a prison, such a bondage, when I allow my thoughts to run ahead.

     Oh, there will be such fun! For I have a special use for the wool. It will form the hair for my tiny hand-sculpted dolls. In about two weeks of walking along the service trail, I collect large enough balls of felted wool to bedeck two very small doll heads: one will have black hair, and one, mottled brown.

     I have a whole bag of purchased wool to expend and to enjoy on dolls or other things. But I honestly delight more in the thought of making something from the gleanings of my quiet fencerow labors.

     I take special pleasure in my hand-gleaned fencerow wool. Maybe because it's a different texture. Mostly because it's hard earned, hard won. Unwound from the fence a curl, a wisp, a wraithy hair at a time.

     It's a more personal sort of woolly gift than that which comes from a wool shop in another town. Because, the sheep that leave their tatters on the fence -- well I sort of know them personally.

     Seven baa baa black sheep. At first, they scattered in fear when I appeared on the newly made service trail. But now they come running and bounding and scrambling (and "baaing") to greet me as I walk by.

     Seven black noses thrust over the top wire of the fence. Seven bleachy mottled brown bodies lined up in a row. I speak to them, and their funny, sheepish eyes with the black bar in the center of a golden orb, watch my every move.

     If I reach my hand over their side of the fence to pet their shaggy wool, they pull away. When I offered them green grass to chew on, they refused it, one and all.

     But how they love to stand and watch me. And I, to talk to them in return. They seem fascinated by the sound of my "hello-there" chatter.

         "My sheep know my voice, and follow me"  (Jesus said.)
These sheep in the neighborhood pasture know my voice.

    The pain in my body doesn't seem as all-consuming or important now. For I am in God's "company." He has sent his signs of love and called, "Follow me."

        "I will never leave you or forsake you."  (Jesus says.)

Dear Lord,

The little things of life give me instant pleasure.Like your love, they are poured out beyond measure.Thank you for the diversion from pain that has occupied my thoughts this while.Thank you that in my deep circumstances,
you give cause for my ready smile.

A close inspection of Nature's intricacies
provides pain's distraction.And it's worth "being alive" when You, Lord, in little things, are my first attraction.

 copyright 1997-2004 by Marilee Miller.Copying is allowed if not "for profit" use