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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Jer. 25:8-17; Rom. 10:1-13; Jn. 8:21-30

It was another beautiful day on the island of Kodiak, Alaska.  The sun had set the previous evening, but the cold sky remained bright all night.  Two of us worked at a small research station that belonged to the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries.  I was the chemist (analyzing lake water daily), and my coworker was the biologist.

I had already checked the instruments in the small lab next to the kitchen.  I could see out the northeast window, as small as it was (bears, you know), towards the tundra.  Solid green rose up marking the horizon that partially framed our valley.  I always checked for bears, but this morning my attention was drawn to the tundra itself.  What was different?  Tiny red dots a mile away began at water level next to Bear Lake and spread over the hill.

What were they?  I went outside so that I could take it all in.  A large hill stood 600 feet above us in our back yard.  Yes, the red dots were there, too.  Across Bear Lake I could see them, and they extended all the way to the top of the other hill.

I walked the 200 yards to the lake’s outlet where Randy Brown, my coworker, was working.

“Randy, do you know what those red dots are everywhere?”

Randy was absorbed in his trout traps and nets and kept his head down.

“Probably fire weed.”

“Fire weed?  You mean you recognize them?”

“Sure.  By the end of summer it’ll grow up six feet over our heads.”

He was right.  By the end of summer the hills were aflame with fire weed blossoms.  I was overwhelmed with the sense that the hills were declaring the glory of God.

—Jim Strange