I prop my feet on the rim of the boat. My fishing pole rests between bare toes, even though my father has told me since I was ten years old that no one’s ever going to catch a fish with her feet. If Dad sees me doing it this time, he doesn’t say so. Maybe it’s because he and I are both hypnotized by the lulling voice of creation.

Listen closely. All around us, hands of nature clap out praise.

I flip open the bail and flick my tipped hook onto a reflecting monastery that carries peace on the ripples. With a “plop,” the bait sinks. I catch a crappie, but I wouldn’t have cared if I hooked even one. For I’m perfectly smitten.

And by the sounds of things, the rest of the world is, too.

“Listen to that!” Dad says. “Those loons work pretty hard to get airborne.” Over his left shoulder, a loon is beating wings on Minnesota water, lifting body and feathered praise ever higher. And to me it sounds like applause for Heaven.

I hear it in the ripples, too, as they clap, clap, clap against the boat — polite applause from tea-party ladies. We spot three woodpeckers, drumming on a wizened, hollowed tree like hard-hatted men with jackhammers. At Mom’s ruby-filled feeder, a hummingbird beats his wings. I can’t hear the sound, but oh, imagine the cacophony if you could magnify it! 

In the breeze, we hear a stadium of crisp praise, roaring through leaves and limbs. The Bible says mountains and hills can burst into song, and trees can clap. (Isaiah 55:12)

I believe it.

Even in the silence, creation whispers wordless praise. And that’s where you find us now: on a boat, hooked by the Lord, caught by the sound of nature’s praise. To the west, the sun sinks below pine, streaking a reflection on the water like melted orange sherbet. Behind us, the moon rises, a perfect circle cutting a hole in the sky.

I breathe it in deep — this moment — until it fills me full with the scent of pine and burning campfire logs.

Jesus said that if his followers fell silent, the stones would cry out.

I join with the Earth because I can’t help it: I just have to sing along, and I don’t want the rocks to out-sing me.

What does the applause for the King of Creation sound like to you?

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