Sunday, March 27

A Taste of Heaven

A hummingbird flits from flower to flower, its purple and green feathers glistening iridescently as early morning sunbeams hit its wings.

In the foothills of the Santa Catalina mountains, a coyote family ventures home; dark silhouettes make their way slowly against the fading backdrop of Arizona desert.

In the middle of the night when most people are sleeping, flashes of monsoon lightning dance across the cloudy night sky like an aurora borealis of the desert.

Let all Creation rejoice before the Lord!  (Psalm 96:13a)

When God paints me a beautiful picture of His Creation, I sometimes think of certain verses from a poem written a hundred years ago.  William Blake's "Auguries of Innocence" begins:  

To see a world in a grain of sand, 
and Heaven in a wildflower, 
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand 
And eternity in an hour.

William Blake saw God's majesty in a grain of sand or in a wildflower as he held them in the palm of his hand.  God gave him a glimpse of eternity by revealing Himself through His Creation in just an hour's time.  William Blake was, like Louisa May Alcott (the writer of "Little Women"), a transcendentalist who believed that God could be known better through His creation.  And doesn't this scripture in Romans also teach us that?   

For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.  (Romans 1:20) 

Some of the times when I've felt closest to God, when I've felt I could almost taste Heaven, have been times when His Creation has been so perfect, so overwhelmingly beautiful.

Last year, we lived in Tennessee for 2 months.  One weekend, we drove to Gatlinburg in early October through the Smoky Mountains.  Autumnal forests clung to the road on each side.  The wind softly rustled the branches of the trees making leaves gently fall around us.  We were listening to the angelic voice of Alison Krauss on the radio.  It was so perfect, really like a little bit of Heaven coming down by God's hand, that my eyes watered.  Just to taste Heaven for a couple of minutes is almost overwhelming. 

O Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth... When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained I wonder, who am I that you would think of me?  But you do think of me and You love me!  Help me to enjoy your Creation and all that is in it and to know you better because of it until the day when I see you face to face. Amen.

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