By Greg Clark of Independence, MO, USA
Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your judgments are like the great deep; you save humans and animals alike, O Lord. How precious is your steadfast love, O God! All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light. —Psalm 36:5–9 NRSV
Kauffman Stadium, home of the Kansas City Royals baseball team, looked clean and inviting. I was there for a mid-August game with the Los Angeles Angels.
The night felt special. Everything seemed nearly perfect—although I would have preferred a seat closer than the far reaches of the upper deck.
Even so, I loved it. I drank in the beautiful field far below. I savored the aromas of ballpark food that drifted by: hot dogs, nachos, cotton candy. I delighted in seeing smiles from the many kids in the not-quite-capacity crowd.
I sang with other fans when the public-address system played “Centerfield” by John Fogerty.
I relaxed in the night’s pleasant temperature, an unusual bonus for Kansas City summers. And perhaps most of all, I rejoiced in the soft, soothing breeze that wafted over me.
I was able to put my head back, close my eyes, and let it all soak in. It seemed perfect. The question then, with apologies to the line made famous in the Field of Dreams movie, was, “Is this heaven?” The answer: “No, it’s Kansas City.”
But it didn’t matter. You see God’s Spirit of generosity was there that night. It’s there every night. If we look hard, we can find God’s Spirit, God’s generosity, everywhere we go—even ballparks.
God’s Spirit is also with our anxiety and prayers in the hospital. It’s with our tears at memorial services. It’s with us every time we hear a child giggle, every time we laugh with a friend, every time we admire nature’s beauty after a snowstorm.
We are blessed. We just have to open ourselves to see—and feel—those blessings. And then give thanks.
Prayer for Peace
God of wonders, thank you for being with us, blessing us, and loving us today—every day. We ask you to stir the hearts of people that they might feel your blessings and extend them to others. May we also extend peace to one another.
Spiritual Practice: Time with God
Sit quietly and let your breathing become calm and deep. Ask God’s Spirit to rest on you. See or sense the Spirit anointing you in the form of light, a dove, wind, color, or other images that might come. Ask to become aware of God’s love. Listen to the ways in which God wants to flow from your heart as living water. Give thanks that your name is “beloved,” that our name is Community of Christ.
Today, God, when I think about your creation, I will jump to my feet and cheer!