We were traveling through Iowa and Kansas on a crisp and sunny September afternoon. I was fascinated by the acres and acres of corn fields decorated by ribbons of fields of grain. As we crested a hill, I noticed black Angus cattle grazing on the brilliant green hills sur- rounding us. The stunning contrast of the blackness of an occasional animal silhouetted against the green hills brought unbidden the words of a hymn that I haven’t thought of in years:
He owns the cattle on a thousand hills,
The wealth in every mine;
He owns the rivers and the rocks and rills,
The sun and stars that shine.
Wonderful riches, more than tongue can tell –
He is my Father so they’re mine as well;
He owns the cattle on a thousand hills –
I know that He will care for me.
Later I looked up the hymn and learned that the composer was John Peterson, a prolific writer of hymns and anthems who was from Lindsborg, Kansas. Of course he was! He later settled in Grand Rapids. MI to head up the Singspiration Publishing House. I was thrilled to be able to bring up the memory of this moment of wonder as I listened to the hymn.