It is just an echo
of the Creator’s Masterpiece.
Her former glory now hints
of brilliance and beauty.
Impressions of the Divine’s handiwork
You must keep looking.
This world is still
in the hands of the Almighty.
The gun violence
the self-interested corporations
are just a symptom
of this broken world.
Take the steps that are necessary
to send Light
streaming into minds and hearts,
to broadcast the wailing,
to comfort the mourning,
to offer hope to the forever-changed.
Be their voice.
Say their names.
Call out the questions
to the entitled and smug who champion
“the right to bear arms”
and who have more blood on their hands.
Be the David against Goliath.
Be Christ’s hands and feet.
But most of all…
Our world was iced over this morning. The patio and steps (made of slate) were slippery and very difficult to walk on safely. But as the temperature rose, the ice layers melted. I stepped out to take some pictures and reflect.
So much of what we think of as “beauty” is such a fleeting thing: the roses in my garden, the leaves in their brilliant glory in autumn, the fluffy, giant snowflakes of an East coast winter storm… they all quickly end.
So I celebrate the glories of even an ice storm, of rain transformed by air temperatures above and below, and the whims of weather.
I have been abusing a word. A word that deserves to be removed from the vocabulary of advertising media and casual speech. A word that best describes the transcendent Presence of The Holy. And yet I use it all the time to refer to things that are wonderful, or delicious, or surprising.
A W E S O M E
GOD is awesome. GOD.
Not pizza, bacon cheeseburgers, the Nats winning the pennant (hey! I can dream!) Not a bicycle ride, or a sexy new car, or a piece of clothing, or anything of a temporary nature. We delude ourselves and we downgrade the work of The Holy when we exchange the word “awesome” for anything but something that fills us with awe.
GOD’S CREATION is awesome. Creation reflects the power, the vastness, the limitless beauty of God’s work in the universe. The flutter of a hummingbird at the feeder. The pileated woodpecker and offspring on the oak tree. The young rabbits discovering clover blossoms in the yard. The wind ripping through tree branches during an afternoon storm. The latent power of rumbling thunder. Seeing the Milky Way or the Northern Lights. The kaleidoscope of blossoms in the yard.
Our creative acts (in the arts and sciences) only imitate what God, the Master Builder has already done. They can be awe-inspiring or beautiful or breath-taking. But I’m not sure they are on the same scale of “awesome” as God’s handiwork.
To inspire and move me towards seeing God as truly and only as “awesome” I enjoy watching these videos. I think they help to more perfectly define the word “awesome” for me.
Thanks be to God.
First, Shawn Reeder’s time-lapse of Yosemite:
Brian Doerkson’s Creation Calls set to movie clips of nature:
And finally, because I love this piece, Haydn’s The Creation:
I had to throw away a desk blotter – the kind that you can slide pictures or little quotes underneath.
(I know it doesn’t make much sense to have this kind of desk blotter, particularly since mine is always COVERED with papers. But I like them.)
Anyway, there were some quotes that I had carefully saved and I didn’t want to lose them. So there will be a series of posts “From The Blotter” so that I can put them on my virtual desk, together with some of my favorite photographs. Enjoy!
from New Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton
Give me the strength that waits upon You in silence and peace. Give me humility in which alone is rest, and deliver me from pride which is the heaviest of burdens. And possess my whole heart and soul with the simplicity of love.
Occupy my whole life with the one thought and the one desire of love, that I may love not for the sake of merit, not for the sake of perfection, not for the sake of virtue, not for the sake of sanctity, but for You alone. Amen.