Friday, January 23, 2015

Exhibit A: There are no words

The heavens are telling
      the glory of God,
and the firmament
      proclaims His handiwork.
Day to day pours forth speech,
and night to night
         declares knowledge.
There is no speech,
    nor are there words;
their voice is not heard;
    their voice goes out
           through all the earth,
and their words
           to the end of the world.

                     Psalm 19. 1-4

When we were looking for a place to live last summer in yet another city new to us, no one ever told me what would become my favorite place in the house where we now live.  I discovered it suddenly late one afternoon when I was working in the single bedroom on the upper floor.  As I glanced up from my work, a masterpiece unfolded before me, a brilliant sky hand painted by God.  I was speechless.  The pools of color faded quickly with the promise to come again the next day and the next.  That is what hope looks like, I thought.

In a court of law, the prosecutors and defense carefully craft their verbal arguments. For days and sometimes weeks, words fill the courtroom, the jury cast about by currents of opinion like so many beach goers wading amidst turbulent waves.

But when the physical evidence is produced, often no words are necessary to proclaim what is truth.  Proof is right there before everyone in the courtroom.

What I viewed outside my window was not a once in a lifetime event, subject to explanation and dismissal, but that which occurs every morning and every evening, nothing short of splendor, inherently speechless and right on time.  Accurate sunrise, sunset, twilight times and moon information such as tides can be calculated precisely for any location in the world past, present, and future.

But even beyond the exactness of mathematical calculations, there is the incredible element of wonder.  G. K. Chesterton said it best in his 1908 classic book Orthodoxy:

"It is possible that God says every morning, "Do it again" to the sun; and every evening, "Do it again" to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we. The repetition in Nature may not be a mere recurrence; it may be a theatrical encore. "

One's very breath is replaced by awe.  No words necessary.  Except to praise.  And to know the LORD is God, creator of heaven and earth.

Ever since the creation of the world
His invisible nature,
   His eternal power and deity,
has been clearly perceived
in the things that have been made.

                    Romans 1. 20 

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