Friday, November 16, 2007

A walk in the book of Creation

Yesterday I walked through the woods on our property, as I once did far more frequently. The old trails were harder to find, choked with underbrush and blocked by fallen trees. It was easier during my husband's illness to withdraw -- physically into the house and emotionally into worry and fear.

Now, taking the walk seemed a daring act, a venture into the unexpected.

But what I found was familiar: the rich, heady scent of soil, the sight of wind tickling leaves that fell laughing to the ground, the cool touch of boulders older than history. Ghosts of past joys lingered in well-remembered places: the steep hill we careened down after a snowfall, the clearing where my husband once built a sweat lodge, the rock where I sat and dreamed of new directions. The seven-trunked tree that had been mostly dead was now entirely dead, yet filled with life; a variety of creatures called it home.

One remembered sound was missing -- the creek's song was silent. The long drought has reduced its usual flow to a trickle. I stood a long time looking at what it had become.

The Celtic Christian tradition held that God revealed himself in two books: the book of Scripture and the book of Creation. That nature speaks of the sacred if we are willing to enter it with eyes and ears and hearts open.

What nature told me on this walk was that, like the creek, I was dry and thirsty. I needed to return to these paths, open this book, experience its wild truth.

What have you found in the book of Creation?


Nick said...

Some of the creeds say the same thing. Thomas Aquinas argued against the double-theory of truth in his day saying that what is revealed in creation cannot contradict what is revealed in Scripture and we might need to change our interpretation of one or the other.

I find beauty. Beauty is one of the most revealing traits of God in creation. (As a single guy, one doesn't have to think hard about where I see beauty the most, but it's incredibly valid!)

I also see the Trinity. There is a great diversity in the world and at the same time, a great unity.

Psalm 19 is right. The Heavens declare the glory of God.

Gamecock said...

The silence of nature allows one to hear that still small voice much more clearly than when one is engulfed with the noise of the city.

Anonymous said...

There is truly nothing more centering and enriching than being alone with nature. When you live in the city it's easy to go years or even decades without setting foot in a truly natural place. But much like looking at the stars in a clear, unpolluted sky, the occasional wander through the woods is a way of re-orienting ourselves to our place in the universe.

David McKnight said...

I don't know on which day it was of the first six of Creation when God made newspapers, but whenever it was, they must have been more reflective of the light of day back in the stone tablet age than some of our modern on-line editions are today.

Some of the disgruntled and accusatory writers on some of The Observer's blog spots are indulging in language which is not fit to appear--whether in print or online--in a publication considering itself a family newspaper.

Where are the standards? How can people be permitted to utter such disgusting and ungodly personal insults about editors and writers on The Observer's staff?

Yes, I can remember when my newspaper editor father was criticized for defending the proposition that Davidson College should not be compelled to be devoid of any trace of religion in its academic surroundings. And now, look at some of the posts in The Observer which apparently are not subjected to any overall editing or evaluation.

Perhaps the spiritual light of this space will outshine some of the debauchery appearing elsewhere in the blog section of the online Observer. But for sure, the voicing of graphic profanity and personal threats ought to be off-limits.

It's time for The Observer to get some religion on this issue. The Maker of Heaven and Earth undoubtedly expects at least an occasional show of decency among His people.

Danbo020759 said...

I'd like to be the first to thank David McKnight for his non-sequitur. Send it in to the "Letters to the Editor," David.

In regards to the topic of this blog, I am frequently amazed by the simple beauty of nature. On the surface, simplistic and serene -- but in depth the amazing complexity and interaction of thousands of sub-systems coming together to present a picture of God's power and love. I feel humbled, yet inspired.

God's plan for man is reflected in His works of nature. What God intended was for mankind to be fully-integrated with the world around him -- master (yet caretaker) of all creation. This is how it will be when the present time passes away. Once again, all of God's creations will find fulfillment in Him. At that time we will revert to the ideal existence that God intended for those He loves.

Creation is God's act of love for mankind! Look at it. Listen to it. Learn from it.

Anonymous said...

I guess we are amazed every day on this earth.

CBC News has a story about a giant scorpion that used to walk this earth (well probably lived in the sea, but still) between 460 and 255 million years ago. What a magnificent discovery indeed.


Rev. Iztok

D.J. said...

I can't say it better than God himself already has through the Psalmist...

The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
whose voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
In them he has set a tent for the sun,
which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.
Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
and its circuit to the end of them,
and there is nothing hidden from its heat.

- Psalm 19:1-6

Soli Deo Gloria

Anonymous said...

This country has an urgent need today. The election is just around the corner and there are so many yaahoo's running for president that it isn't funny. We need to pray for God's guidance in our voting. I have been talking to this gentleman who will be running on an Independent ticket. Folks laugh when you say Independent...but please take a minute to look at this web site...I thought that you would be interested in it: Along with Mr. Millican's strong beliefs on God he also has very strong issues on Pro-Life, Immigration, Fuel, American Jobs and Fair Taxes. Please if you get a chance check out his web site and then let me know if you think him to be a good candidate to fill the shoes of the President of the United States. If you search this out you will see that he is the 1st man to run for the Presidency out of North Carolina. We need your prayers and contributions would be very helpful. Thank you and have a blessed day. For general questions or interviews please send an email to

Anonymous said...

I am for one so glad this guy will never stand a chance to be elected for president.

If he wants to Americanism perhaps we should all learn some native American language instead of English?

If he wants historical text, perhaps it is time to remove "under God" in the pledge.


Anonymous said...

Eh, just posted bunch of rubbish ;) (not proper grammar and spelling). Sorry, jetlagged as I am in UK and had a redeye flight and didn't sleep at all).