Oscar Hammerstein II said the hills were alive with the sound of music. Where I live, that music plays against verdant pastures and brilliantly green hillsides. Angus cow-calf pairs dot the scene like quarter notes on a musical score. Each cow has a calf at her side, and she paces her stride to match its own faltering steps.
The calves are so fresh and new that they shine like onyx in the morning sun, dark against the grass their mothers graze. There is a tenderness in it all, in the grass, in the animals – a moment set against the rush of time when nothing matters but the protection and nurturing of a young life.
I drive through this landscape every morning on my way to school. And in the late afternoon I return on the same road to see long shadows thrown across the pastures by the grazing cattle.
Yesterday it was warmer; the temperature had climbed into the high 60s, and the cows had turned their eyes away from the sun, their backs to the west. As I slowed to watch them, I wondered what there was of God out in that pasture. I knew there was something there, something He would say to me if I paused in my hurry home, and searched for His message.
The cow closest to the fence line along the road stood at an odd angle, sideways to the sunlight. Her shadow stretched wide across the grass, and several feet away lay her resting calf, tucked exactly within the edges of her cool shade, sheltered from the heat of the day.
She knew exactly how to stand to shade her calf, and she stayed there until the glare of the sun had passed.
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty” (Psalm 91:1 NIV).
Our God knows, too. He knows exactly what we need, and He is there to let us rest in the shadow of His comfort.
And if we still our hearts, we may even hear the music of His love around us.