Amy Patsch Headshot 2021.jpg

Amy Patsch

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Living in Cape May County is such a pleasure. I enjoy getting away occasionally, but not too often. We live in a beautiful town, which is verified by our many visitors who find this area of New Jersey the perfect spot for vacations.  

I heartily agree with them. No matter where we have traveled in the states or beyond, I have never found a town or city with all the perfect factors that draw me to Ocean City and the surrounding area. One town here and there may have something more than another, but not one of them has all that we have in Cape May County. 

This fall, Neil and I decided to venture out to some venues we have not yet had the opportunity to visit. We chose a road trip to Cape May and stopped by the Harriet Tubman Museum, where we joined a guided tour.   

The museum is worth a visit just to see the beautifully done, bigger-than-life bronze of Ms. Tubman leading a child to freedom. We are very privileged to have this reminder of our history and the connection of Ms. Tubman and the Underground Railroad to our region. 

We also spent time at the Nature Center, which is located near the Coast Guard base, and the Lost Fisherman’s Memorial - another must-see.  

The Nature Center includes a wild nature garden and a building with two floors of exhibits, including fun things for teaching children about our local environment. We even got to see a caterpillar and chrysalis, which will both eventually produce butterflies.   

I was curious to see our local Nature Center, as one of my nieces taught at a lovely and active nature center in Texas located on a bayou. Vicki proudly toured us around her center, which was very informative of that area.  

Now that she is a mother, she has created quite a natural sanctuary in her backyard for her little boy to learn and understand about his environment. Her garden has attracted toads and turtles enticed by a fishpond, along with a variety of migrating butterflies. 

We were also able to visit one of my other nieces when she interned at the Smithsonian, organizing and cataloging their fish photos, drawings, and exhibits. I gave her a Bible verse to display on her desk, “But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the Earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you.” (Job 12:7&8) All of nature, even the lowly critters, can teach us about God. 

When I view just about any of God’s creatures, I am astonished at the enormity of design, colors, configurations, and abilities of those animals, critters and insects. It would have been spectacular to be present as each creature presented itself to Adam in the Garden of Eden to be given a name. (Gen. 2:19)  

I can just imagine that wonderful parade of peacocks, chimps, alligators, penguins, dogs, macaws, polar bears, butterflies, and thousands and thousands more. What a delightful show it must have been!   

I have two pairs of mallards come and feed beneath my birdfeeder in the early summer. They return year after year and know that I will give them corn and seeds, so they allow me to sit in my patio rocker and watch them eat at my feet.  

To view up close the magnificence of the colors of those duck feathers in the sunlight, the beauty of the design of the feathers themselves, the way the feathers fold into wings and cover their chests to give them buoyancy in the water, and the wonder that their wobbly, top-heavy bodies can make takeoffs and landings is astounding to me.  

I don’t know how anyone could imagine all that beauty and structure is anything but God’s own hand creating those mallards for both Him and us to enjoy. 

How much more can we imagine that God loves each human, which He creates one body and soul at a time? Each person is specially produced and designed to God’s standards and for His glory.   

Once, while I was volunteering as a chaplain at the hospital, I was confounded when I went to speak with a man who appeared to be at the end of his life and who was absolutely adamant there was no God. I wondered if he really believed that or if he was just denying God thinking if he did, he would not have to confront Him shortly.  

On the other hand, I know people that say there is a God, but they don’t pay much attention to Him, either. Possibly that is the very same denial the atheist had, but in different clothing. 

When we recognize God for all that He is, our very creator and our redeemer, how can we not then be in awe every day of our lives? We wake up to breath. He provides and thinks thoughts using a mind He created. Why is it then that we often give less thought to God during our day than almost everything else we do?    

This year, I am making an effort to thank God for all He has provided.   Not material goods, but the use of my hands, feet, senses, and brain. I immediately seek Him if one of those body parts starts to fail, so now I am intentionally giving Him my daily thanks and appreciation for the very breath I take into my lungs and all the other parts that work as they were designed. 

Once we make that effort to recognize the miracle of God’s creation, we begin to see God in every area of our life. This week, may we all revel in the joy of God’s gifts to us, and let us be thankful. 

ED. NOTE: Amy Patsch writes from Ocean City.  

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