I stepped outside tonight for the first time in a almost a week. Between feeling like death warmed over and record-setting highs for the past week, I haven’t really had much desire to go out. But there’s something about the light after a late-afternoon rain that drew me outside today. It didn’t disappoint.

Our house backs up to what we Floridians call a “conservation area.” It’s one of the reasons we built on this lot, actually; there will never be a house directly behind us. Our back yard runs out to the edge of a pond, with wetlands ringed by pine trees a little farther back. We’ve seen otters, fox, deer, and any number of birds, both native and migratory. In that after-the-rain light, there were way more than 64 crayons worth of colors to take in.
Almost 4 years ago in the spring, we had a rash of wildfires in the area that turned out to be arson, including one that burned right across our wetlands area. It was so very sad to see the the palmettos and underbrush completely burned away, along with about half the pines. The firefighters told us that day that we’d never know it after 3-4 years. I hadn’t really noticed until today, but they were right. Not only has the undergrowth come back, it’s richer than before. And even though we’ve lost a few pines to the woodpeckers and the critters they go chasing in dead trees, the remaining trees are back in full leaf again, sporting pine cones and songbirds.
The wetlands have been restored. God’s creation wins over construction, arson and all the mess that comes out of the windows and tailpipes of the cars that run by every day. God’s love wins. Over the trials and distractions that leave me burned, tired and ill. Over the actions of those who intentionally tear me down. Over neglect, forgetfulness, irresponsibility. Over arrogance.
God wins.

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