Monday, June 9, 2008


Birdsong is always in harmony. Have you ever noticed? No matter how many birds are singing, it is never a cacophony, never a ruckus, never a massive discord. Of course, birds can make plenty of unpleasant noises. But when they're singing, it somehow always ends up being complementary. You can have a dozen different kinds of birds, singing their own unique songs - and they never clash.

Incredible. The hand of the Great Artist, the true Creator, from whom all creativity flows. I am amazed when I notice such things. We usually don't. Notice them, I mean: we usually miss them, because they're commonplace or "ordinary" - yet there is nothing ordinary about the fact that birdsong is beautiful, nor about the fact that birdsong is harmonious. It is, in fact, quite an extraordinary thing that the human ear and mind are even capable of recognizing combinations of sound as beauty in the first place - but it is even more extraordinary that the musical ears of humanity can so readily dismiss the remarkable beauty inherent in the songs present in nature. And the existence of such beauty all around us too often goes unremarked in our minds: we miss the marvelous things that God has made because we are become accustomed to them. What a tragedy!

We must learn to live with beauty in our minds. We must have our ways of thinking and understanding sanctified if we are to have our ways of living sanctified, and this requires more than merely learning to assent to what God says about our actions. It means having our every way of comprehending and analyzing submitted to Him for retraining. We must learn to enjoy living the lives that the Great God has given to us. We must learn that the world is a beautiful place still, for all its fallenness, and to revel in the marvelous things that God has made. We must learn to "stop and smell the roses," so to speak: to appreciate the many multivaried good things in this world - trees, and squirrels, and birdsong, and sunrises and sunsets, and long days of rain, and summer winds, and mountains and lakes, and oceans and beaches, and windswept plains, and sandy deserts: so much that the Word spoke into being and sustains every moment. The functioning of the brain, the beating of the heart, the twitch of fingers across a guitar's frets, the meeting of lips in a kiss, the clenching of muscles in a race: marvelous things indeed.

And we miss them. We don't even see them, because we are too consumed with other, often lesser, things.

And yet these are the things which themselves are shouting "Glory!" to their creator, as we ought to be doing with our every breath, every thought, every word and deed. How can we, however, if we have not had our imaginations and our observations sanctified? Make no mistake: those two are not so far apart as we have sadly been led to believe. No, the imagination and the observation are very close companions indeed: if we cannot imagine the impossible, we will fail to observe it when it happens - and happen it does, every day, every moment. That we draw breath is a miracle; that we think an even greater one. We must learn to live our lives in light of the empty tomb: an utter impossibility that, in its becoming possible, has made clear how possible all impossibilities are: for God is not so small as we have made Him to be.

No, indeed: God is great, and mighty, and awesome. He holds the entirety of the universe in the span of His hand: how vast and unlimited His greatness, His might, His mercy and love!

Dream! Dream and ponder and dare to wonder anew. Be as a child, fascinated once more with the tips of your fingers and the curl of your mother's hair. Dare to see the world fresh again and recognize, as if for the first time, how magnificent are all God's many deeds!

- Chris


  1. Wonderful observations!
    You've reminded me of when the blackbirds are in the cattails in the creek behind our house and they're all singing... hundreds of birds together making a wonderful sound as they lift up their voices in worship to their creator.

  2. this reminds me of the old song: Birdies in the treetops sing their song, flowers in the garden sing along, so why shouldn't I praise Him too?

    Love you!!


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