Monday, February 1, 2016

"This is My Father's World"

This morning after breakfast I saw a red-bellied woodpecker on our "fruitless peach" just outside our kitchen window. I've never seen one before. It was so eye catching with it's red cap and black and white wings. I ran to my bedroom to get the camera. When I got back with the camera it was on the opposite side of the trunk where I could not see it. Then it flew to our big tree at the back of the yard so I raced back to my bedroom to see from that window. But the bird was too high up and again on the wrong side. Then it flew away. I keep hoping it will come back so I can get a photo. It's so exciting. I love seeing new birds. I usually drop whatever I'm doing to get the bird book and the camera. It reminds me of an essay E. B. White wrote called "Songbirds." He wrote that "Spring is a rush season on any farm. On this farm of ours spring becomes an almost impossible season because of the songbirds, which arrive just as everything else is getting under way and which have to be identified. They couldn't pick a more inconvenient time."* I don't have a farm, but I can relate to the feeling that any new bird has to be identified! (I found this photo on-line. )

It seemed like a fitting start to the day--seeing the bird. The delight of God's world was already on my mind when I got up. Last night, or early this morning, I dreamed I heard a choir singing "This is My Father's World." It was so clear. Really beautiful. When the song ended I just basked in the beauty of the words, trying to soak up every syllable and remember it for later.  

Later I looked it up on-line. The words of verse three seem especially appropriate given world and national events, "O let me ne’er forget, that though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet." Verse four was a funny coincidence. The author wrote of seeing God's face in a dream. I did not see God in my dream. I just heard this song. But with the author, by faith, I too can say “The Lord is in this place!”

The words below are from (they and Wikipedia tell more about the song and author too.) When sung the song is usually condensed to three to six verses (wikipedia)

This is my Father’s world, and to my listening ears
All nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres.
This is my Father’s world: I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;
His hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Father’s world, the birds their carols raise,
The morning light, the lily white, declare their Maker’s praise.
This is my Father’s world: He shines in all that’s fair;
In the rustling grass I hear Him pass;
He speaks to me everywhere.

This is my Father’s world. O let me ne’er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world: the battle is not done:
Jesus Who died shall be satisfied,
And earth and Heav’n be one.

This is my Father’s world, dreaming, I see His face.
I ope my eyes, and in glad surprise cry, “The Lord is in this place.”
This is my Father’s world, from the shining courts above,
The Beloved One, His Only Son,
Came—a pledge of deathless love.

This is my Father’s world, should my heart be ever sad?
The lord is King—let the heavens ring. God reigns—let the earth be glad.
This is my Father’s world. Now closer to Heaven bound,
For dear to God is the earth Christ trod.
No place but is holy ground.

This is my Father’s world. I walk a desert lone.
In a bush ablaze to my wondering gaze God makes His glory known.
This is my Father’s world, a wanderer I may roam
Whate’er my lot, it matters not,
My heart is still at home.

To hear the hymn go to: 
The author, Malt­bie Davenport Bab­cock, was a pastor in Lockport, NY.  Babcock. He liked to hike in an ar­ea called “the es­carp­ment,” near Lock­port. Before going out he often told his wife that he was, "going out to see the Father's world."  ( (wikipedia)

*(White, E. B., "Songbirds." in One Man's Meat, ed. E. B. White, pg. 227, Tilbury House, Publishers, Gardiner, Maine)


Melissa said...

Hi Sharon. How special to have had the red-bellied woodpecker come to visit. I hope it comes again for you. I haven't heard of the hymn you posted but I love it.

Doris S said...