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A Sig Blessing

Be on the lookout for mercies. The more we look for them, the more of them we will see.  Blessings brighten when we count them.

– Maltbie D. Babcock

I’ve had this quote on the bulletin board outside my office for about a year – as a reminder to myself and anyone else who finds themselves at the end of the odd corridor where you will find empty bins, a cool quilt picturing Noah’s ark (where Mrs Noah is wearing gold earrings) and my door.

Back to the quote…I want to be that deliberate in hunting for blessings, on alert at all times just in case one sneaks in without being counted. I picture myself  turning over rocks and crawling through hedges like a child hunting for Easter eggs. How many can I fit in my basket?

Today I found another one (blessing that is) just by doing a search on Maltbie Babcock. I’d been walking by his quote every day and figured it was time to find out who this person was. Turns out he was quite an extraordinary fellow who died far too young.  Wikipedia ‘s article on Maltbie includes an excerpt from his biography:

Babcock was preeminently a preacher. He was a clear thinker and a fluent speaker, with a marvelous personal magnetism which appealed to all classes of people, and the influence of which became in a sense national. His theology was broad and deep, yet without a touch of present-day uncertainty. Added to the genius of spirituality he had the genius of work, and it was owing to his unselfish devotion to the great work of uplifting mankind that he literally wore himself out and died at the early age of forty-two. Noted for his impartial charity, he reached people in countless ways and exerted everywhere a remarkable personal magnetism. While he published no books he may be said to have ‘lived, or sung his thoughts’.

When Babcock lived in Lockport, he took frequent walks along the Niagara Escarpment to enjoy the overlook’s panoramic vista of upstate New York scenery and Lake Ontario, telling his wife he was “going out to see the Father’s world”. She published a poem by Babcock shortly after his death, entitled This is My Father’s World.[1]

Here’s the little God-thing that goes along with this story. Yesterday in church the leader of our Praise Team asked the pianist and myself (acting as organist) if we could play this very hymn. We were happy to oblige since this made choosing an offertory hymn  much easier.

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: why should my heart be sad? The Lord is King; let the heavens ring! God reigns; let the earth be glad.

Be on the lookout for mercies and blessings.  There’s lots out there.

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