Wednesday, February 3

Beautiful Things

And another quote from Anthony Doerr's memoir, Four Seasons in Rome: On Twins, Insomnia and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World

"The Natural History, the umbrella pines, Borromini's Sant'Ivo, the question of starlings, and the questions of fatherhood—my interest in them all rotates around one question: If we creatures are on earth only to extend the survival of our species, if nature only concerns itself with reproduction, if we are suppose to raise our kids to breeding age and then whither and slide toward death, then why does the world bother to be so astoundingly, intricately, breathtakingly beautiful?"

I thought of this yesterday while skiing on a track at the local golf course through a lightly falling snow. I could only see the snowflakes when they were little flecks of white against dark evergreens. Looking up to the white sky they were invisible and looking down against the white snow they disappeared again. Only by looking straight out towards the trees that flanked the greens did the spiraling flakes appear. Next summer these flakes will turn the fairway and the surrounding mountains green and lush. So if it's just water storage, why does it arrive in tiny floating sculptures, each a unique creation never again copied? Because there is a God who shares His creativity with us and allows us to join Him in creating words and art and children and beauty.

O Lord my God, you are very great; you are clothed with splendor and majesty. He wraps himself in light as with a garment; he stretches out the heavens like a tent and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters. He makes the clouds his chariot and rides on the wings of the wind. He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for man to cultivate-- bringing forth food from the earth: wine that gladdens the heart of man, oil to make his face shine, and bread that sustains his heart. from Psalm 104

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11

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