All Things Wise and Wonderful

21 May

I had written two previous blog-posts on my experience with biodiversity documentation ( All things bright and beautiful ) 1 and some sample photos ( All things great and small) 2. Following on with the song by Cecil Frances Alexander, I have named this post after the third line of the song:

All things bright and beautiful

All creatures great and small

All things wise and wonderful

The Lord God made them all

As I had mentioned in an earlier post, my interest in biodiversity documentation arose from suffering a myocardial infarction in 2008 3 – a reminder that some of the painful and difficult experiences in our lives are permitted by God to lead us into a new direction or introduce us to something new that He wants us to experience.

After nearly 30 years at the Makunda Christian Leprosy & General Hospital in Assam, my wife Ann and I have moved to the Christian Medical College, Vellore as consultants to the Missions Department. Our work involves visiting mission hospitals across the country. On most of these visits, we get up early in the morning to walk around the campus of the hospital that we are visiting or surrounding areas to document the biodiversity of that location. This has enabled me to upload a growing number of observations after leaving Makunda to iNaturalist 4 – I have over 20,000 observations of nearly 3000 species on this website from India at present and lead the observers from the country 5. This is a map of the location of my observations from India (till May 2023):

Over the years, I developed a deep curiosity about all living things. This led to photographing everything that I saw, identifying them and learning about them. It led to publication of articles and the writing of short chapters and a growing understanding of God’s wise and wonderful natural world.

In November 2022, I was invited to speak on “Biodiversity Documentation and Research” – a part of the “Nature Talks” series at the Christian Medical College. A recording of this talk can be viewed by clicking on the link below. Please note that there were some internet disruptions during the talk and you can skip over the section between 25.50 and 29.50:

I became interested in this activity when I was 44 years old and I am surprised at the power of our God-given brains that enable us to learn something new and do well at it inspite of the passage of time. I did all this work without taking leave from my busy work as a surgeon at Makunda – on early mornings and late nights. I hope that those who listen develop an interest in the world around them and marvel at the creations of a wise and wonderful God.



One Response to “All Things Wise and Wonderful”

  1. Livson Thomas May 22, 2023 at 9:47 pm #

    Thank you sir for inspiring…

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