Monday, September 26, 2016

Delight – Earth’s crammed with heaven

The Bible affirms that creation is good (see Genesis 1:31) and it is full of God’s glory (see Isaiah 6:1-3) and that God rejoices and delights in it (see Proverbs 8:30-31)

Do we delight in creation? Do we see God's delight in it? Or are we too busy, too distracted? How might we better attend to that delight?

“All that is sweet, delightful, and amiable in this world, in the serenity of the air, the fineness of seasons, the joy of light, the beauty of colors, the fragrancy of smells. The splendor of precious stones, is nothing else but heaven breaking through the veil of this world, manifesting itself in such a degree and darting forth in such variety so much of its own nature.”
– William Law (1686-1761)

Earth’s crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;       
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes,       
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.
– Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806–1861)

The Bright Field
I have seen the sun break through
to illuminate a small field
for a while, and gone my way
and forgotten it. But that was the
pearl of great price, the one field that had
treasure in it. I realise now
that I must give all that I have
to possess it. Life is not hurrying
on to a receding future, nor hankering after
an imagined past. It is the turning
aside like Moses to the miracle
of the lit bush, to a brightness
that seemed as transitory as your youth
once, but is the eternity that awaits you.
– R. S. Thomas (1913-2000)

The Summer Day
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean--
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down --
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?

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