Last year I made a statement that has been one that I keep coming back to as I continue to live and learn in this world. The following is the statement that I made:
I see God the most in people, I hear God the loudest in scripture, and I feel God the most in nature.
With a little guidance I hammered this out a little more today and it was really cool to see the pieces fall in place.
I feel God the most in nature because I see the detail in God's creation. I see the different leaves, and barks on trees. I see the birds of the air and hear the sounds of nature all around me. But most of all I feel the wind that blows freely, gliding the birds, blowing in the trees, carrying the sounds, and even touching me. I take in a breath and the wind becomes a part of me, then I exhale and that wind leaves me. What I realized today was that when I go out into nature it is usually because I am stressed or upset or something is weighing on me, but when I come out I am at peace, I am light and a new creation. In Genesis 2:7 we find this verse, "then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being." God breathed life, the wind that surround me and becomes a part of me in nature becomes like a new life and it makes me aware of the life that is around me when I am being in creation. And so when I am in creation, I feel God's presence not only around me but also in me and through me. When I breathe in this breath I have this tension, stress, and weight built up in me and when I exhale that leaves me. That breath that is life comes in and the life that isn't really life leaves me and is no longer in me. So that tension is exhaled and room for new life is made.
I hear God the loudest in scripture. This has been true for most of my life. When I see the darkness of the world, when I hear stories of hate, injustice, war, and oppression it is very easy to be discouraged and have little hope. BUT when I read scripture, when I open my Bible and spend time studying what God has to say, I hear a God of hope and reconciliation and I am filled with hope and become passionate about working for this reconciliation in the world. So many people I know constantly ask where is God in this world? Why don't I see evidence of a God of hope and reconciliation? I think the place to start is in scripture. In order for me to understand how God is working in the world now I have to turn back to scripture and study to understand how God was at work in creation and with God's people. There I find stories of hope and reconciliation (along with other things). I hear God speaking to us as a world through scripture, often times crying out for us to be working for reconciliation and bringing hope, light, and life to others.
I see God the most in people. The imago dei, the image of God is what we were created in. When I look at Bryley (my just over a month old niece) I see God. I see the work of a creator in how everything works, in how she is attentive, in how she grabs a hold of her bottle, in how she squeezes my fingers, and even in how she cries to tell me she is hungry. I see God in how Bryley is continuing to learn as she goes along in this life, just like we are always learning and becoming more aware of the presence of God. When I look at this child of God and see God, I remember that I too am a precious child, learning to live in the world, and being drawn closer and closer to the one who created me.
So there it is...I hope to continue to have my eyes, mind, and heart opened to where God is leading, what God is teaching me, and what God would have me see in this crazy world.
Tomorrow I will go and spend time out in nature and I can't wait!