(Thanks to Char for inspirationon this one.)
The Crayola Crayon Company only wishes it could manufacture hues and colors like the Lord paints on Mobile Bay at sunrise and sunset.
After writing about the earth and sky yesterday, Frances and I took our first kayaking journey of the season on the water last evening. It seems almost criminal to write those words: first kayaking journey of the season - on July 30?! Schedules and weather have caused the delay. When there's been time, that has also been rain (and more importantly, lightning). And, when the skies have been clear, our schedule has been full. After eating supper last night, on the spur of the moment I asked Frances if she wanted to attempt a quick voyage before sundown.
"I'll be ready in a minute" she responded without a moment's hesitation. She actually prepared herself in less than a minute (maybe less than a second!), and we were quickly on the road with boats and gear to reach the site where we launch and paddle.
I'm almost glad that we've been delayed this year because it made yesterday's voyage all the more enjoyable and appreciated. Moreover, the aforementioned artistry of our Heavenly Father seemed even more amazing than ever. As the sun slipped behind a cloud bank while setting, we witnessed blues, greens, silvers, grays, whites, and perhaps unknown refractions of God's spectrum unite to form colors for which only He has a name. Or, sometimes the individual hues seemed to separate for a moment to reveal their singular beauty before melding together yet again for a dazzling display of sparkle and splash. It's a stunning exhibition that elicits worship and wonder, along with the sense that we've been invited to a personal showing of the Artist who also happens to be our Father.
This reminds me of a thought that always troubles me, or more literally, an illustration. Imagine your child to be an artist (I have one of those). She's been asked to perform an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, where she will display her work. The day arrives, and you're there of course, bursting with thanksgiving and pride that your offspring so takes after her mother! As you mill around, however, listening closely for the comments of admiration you know you'll hear from those attending the exhibition, you're shocked to discover that the attendees seem completely oblivious to the artist who produced the masterpieces they view with awe and delight.
"Amazing," says one, "that such beauty could have spontaneously appeared, with no heart and mind to create it."
"Indeed," responds another, "fate, chance, and time always fascinate me in their ability to produce form, complexity, and loveliness!" A few more such comments, and Dad is ready to punch somebody!
"Wake up!" you want to scream to the dullards who obviously don't understand art or the artist.
"How can you think that this beauty just happened?! Are you all out of your minds??? My daughter made all this!"
At the exhibition we attended yesterday on Mobile Bay, Frances and I rejoiced together. Our Father made all this! Moreover, He invited us to the show because He knew that we know. Yes, we are keenly aware that those hues, colors, and sparkles don't just appear out of spontaneous nothingness. They rather proceed forth from a Heart and a Mind even more beautiful than the art itself. How much we would miss if we didn't know this, even as a good friend and fellow kayaker mentioned in an email just last night: "I feel sorry for those who cruised down the river and missed the glory." Indeed, the glory exists far more in the Artist than the art, and what a sad waste of both time and eternity for those who attend the exhibition without worshipping and admiring the Exhibitor. But what a wonderful experience of both time and eternity for those who know, who acknowledge, who appreciate, and who love to realize and to declare it: "Our Father made all this!"
"Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us."(Psalm 90:17)