So God said, “Let us make man in our image.” If we are really “like” God, in the way that we are like our fathers or our mothers, think of the implications when you consider the beauty of creation. Take a look at some of the wonder works of God that I saw yesterday at Selby Gardens in Sarasota.
What artistry! If I accept that God is Creator, I am breathless when I walk about God’s museum and take in the show.
What kind of mind creates this?
And if I am “like” God, does that mean I have some smidgeon of this kind of creative power?
I am stunned at the idea that we could surprise, awe, delight, or cause others to wonder in the way that these images caused me to stand amazed and mesmerized. But haven’t we all been moved in similar ways by music, or a painting, or a book or poem?
And, is it just me, or do you get the sneaking suspicion that God was…well…having fun, when he made this stuff?
There is joy here. There is delight. And we feel both as we look at the end results.
I hope my own work, whatever it is, will have the same effect.
P.S. Happy Birthday, Barry. One of the things I love most about you is the joy you take in life, in your family and friends, in your music, and in me. I KNOW that when God made you, he was having SO MUCH FUN. I can just imagine God saying, “Just WAIT til they get a load of this one!” Haartelijk Gefeliciteerd, Schaat. Ik hou van jou.
A friend recently told me I was giving too much life to a situation I was chewing over. Of course, she was right. And the truth is, for all the energy I expend in worry, I will get no Life in return! We do that, don’t we? We give lots of energy— in the form of anger, unforgiveness, anxiety, or jealousy—to people and circumstances. We exchange pieces of our lives on problems that we cannot solve or situations we cannot change. We give our lives away—not in teaspoons, as Eliot said, but in heaping cups.
So I’m paying closer attention to the things I give life to. Maybe even more important, though, I’m also asking myself, “Where are you drawing life FROM?” Are you trying to extract Life from something or someone that cannot possibly give it? Are you drawing water from a dried-up well? As a Christian, I suppose I should pay attention to Jesus. He says that he is Water, Light, Bread, the Vine…Life. (He also said he was God. Therefore, go to God–the SOURCE–for things that feed your soul and give you real life.)
It’s so easy to draw life from just about anything BUT God: career, kids, romance, food, friends, jobs, wealth, fitness, hobbies, or even the next good time. All of those things are part of this crazy, joy-filled, tragic, and magical thing we call life, but none actually breathe LIFE into our souls. For that, we have to turn to THE Lifegiver. And I think we probably need to pay attention when we do find ourselves giving life to something that is incapable if giving life in return. When I find myself doing this, it’s a red flag: I’m looking for something that people or circumstances cannot always give–whether it’s love, forgiveness, justice, understanding, encouragement, acceptance, or affirmation.
Whatever it is, there is only one perfect Source for true Life-giving sustenance. That’s where I need to go. (Feel free to remind me!)
“I must confess that I am not afraid of the word ‘tension.’ I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth.” Dr. Martin Luther King wrote these words in his now-famous “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.”
If there is anything that can stir up tension, it is the truth—especially when presented in humility. Hemingway said that a writer’s job is to “tell the truth.” I don’t know about you but I find that to be a daunting charge. The truth? Do I even know the truth?