It is easy to look upon something obviously beautiful and declare God’s presence, as one does at the beach, or during an orange and pink sunset, or overlooking the Grand Canyon. It is common for people to journey to the hill country, climb a steep hill overlooking river and valley, and proclaim God’s hand in Creation.
God might not be obvious, but our faith insists that God is present. The hymn, “All things Bright and Beautiful” sums it up wonderfully: “The cold of the winter… the pleasant summer sun… God made them every one.” And we are given the ability to proclaim God’s glory in all that God made. We often look for God where there is beauty, but the song tells of the Gospel promise – where there is God, one will find beauty. Obvious or not, it is all beautiful BECAUSE it is God’s handiwork. “All things… the Lord God made them all.”
But what do we proclaim about the stuff that isn’t pretty, or photo-worthy, or inspiring? Where is God in the creation of our every-day landscapes? Where is the beauty in the backseat of my car, which has been trashed by two preschoolers and will forever smell of forgotten chicken nuggets? Can God be recognized in my calloused fingers and my wrinkles? If I am to be on display as an image of God, I’d be much more comfortable highlighting my better features… so, what happens when I can’t remember my better features?? Because, if you can no longer see the beauty, God isn’t as obvious.
by The Rev. Kate Rascoe
Pipe Creek Presbyterian Church
Music: Harmonization copyright, MCMLV, by John Ribble: renewed 1983; from The Hymnbook, published by Westminster Press.