Yesterday as I walked home from work I was struck by an overwhelming sense of thankfulness and outright joy at the fact that God chose to give us the gift of beauty. What a completely luxurious gift! It does nothing directly to feed us, or make us stronger workers, or help us raise children who know God’s ways. It exists simply to give us pleasure in God’s creation, and to give us insight into God’s character. God is infinitely creative – we still haven’t discovered all of the different varieties of plants and animals and insects and reptiles and fish and minerals and… you get the picture… that he created. Each one different from the next, not only species from species, but even within species. No zebra is exactly like another. No rock is either.
And flowers! Don’t get me started on flowers! Actually, flowers were what got me started on this in the first place – getting just so happy looking at the amazing contrast of color and shape in the different flowers in the beds I pass in my short walk. Why so very many? Tall, short, pink, white, yellow, tiny, flat, round, huge… I have to grin just imagining the fun God was having, exuberantly creating, saying “And another one, this one small and bright pink. And another one, brilliant yellow, to come up first thing in the spring. And red tulips, they will look perfect with those daffodils.”
I think it takes a huge amount more faith to look at all of the amazing things covering this earth – for that matter, just to look at the amazing things about our own bodies – and believe that this happened somehow by chance, than to believe that a loving Creator is responsible. I believe that it’s not that people can’t believe God made us, they just don’t want to. If they do, then they have to admit that there’s something bigger than themselves, which means that they might have to be accountable to that something. And if you don’t know and understand that the Something is pure love as well as pure goodness and justice, the idea of being accountable is very scary.
Creation is indeed a miracle. It’s something we can’t explain. The beauty around us is a wealth of miracles that we are privileged to witness every day. The fact that God loves us enough to share it with us by giving us the ability to appreciate beauty, to wonder at it and look for it, to see a sunset for the thousandth time and still be awed, is a miracle. But the fact that God loves us, that is the greatest miracle of all.
See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him. I John 3:1
O Lord, what a variety of things you have made! In wisdom you have made them all. The earth is full of your creatures. Psalm 104:24