Just a Glimpse
White Lady’s Slipper, Steuben, Maine
Andrew Young, a Scottish poet, compared his ongoing but somewhat futile quest for meaning to searching for lady slippers: “…I peer in every place: Seeking for what I cannot find/ I do as I have often done/ And shall do while I stay beneath the sun.” (Lady-Slipper, Orchid)
We “see”, and we are amazed at our unique world. But how often does that translate into awe of God? Or even to a glancing thought of Him? Do we ever get a glimmer of why God viewed His creation and said, “It is good”?(Genesis 1:11-12) Generally, we prefer to be analytical and shrug off theological truths about the amazing source of a sunset, the physiology of a cell, the complex and unifying functions of our bodies, the mysterious appearance of a giraffe, or the vast DNA variants found, not just in the Galapagos Islands, but in the whole earth.
St Augustine didn’t give us much credit for making a meaningful connection between our lives and what we observe: “Men go abroad to wonder at the height of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars; and they pass by themselves without wondering.”
God majors in creative uniqueness. He parts seas for His people, speaks in thunder and lightning on mountain tops, reveals His purposes through stubborn donkeys, and appears to us as a poor Rabbi, Jesus. (Numbers 22:30) (Colossians 1:15-16) . Sometimes, especially during personal chaos, God unexpectedly speaks to us in a “still small voice”, calming our personal unrest and giving us a glimpse of Him as He did Elijah. (1 Kings 19:12) However, Job’s experience was different. In the midst of his sufferings, self-pity and struggles with God, God inspired him from a whirlwind, “Hear this, O Job; stop and consider the wondrous works of God.” Through creation’s marvels, Job began to understand that he never would be able to explain everything, and he saw God’s transcendence, His sovereign justice, and purposes. (Job 37:14; 38:1)
A couple of years ago, a friend walked me through his woods to a secluded place and a hidden patch of stunning, delicate, pink and white Lady’s Slippers. Their captivating loveliness quietly but beautifully announced God’s magnificent imagination. These small flowers clearly declared the huge message that God has imparted glory to His creation.
“Meaning” is there for our viewing and consideration! “The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. (Psalm 19:1) Our lady’s slipper not only provides us with a glimpse of God but also a peek at ourselves. We are manifestations of God’s loving creativeness. We are made to shine with the glory of His beautiful character. We have tarnished the glory, but He offers to restore us through redemption n Christ. (Genesis 1:26) (Matthew 5:16) (1 Corinthians 2:7 (John 3:16)
Meet Chris Mace
Christopher Mace graduated from Bowdoin College and Tufts University School of Medicine. Served as a Navy Doctor in Vietnam and has practiced medicine in Downeast Maine since 1970. He is now an Elder at United Baptist Church in Ellsworth Maine. Chris is the author of two books, Listening to God and Dancing with God. You can read more from Chris here: http://sweetwordsfrommaine.music.blog/. He is married and has four children and three grand children.