We Are Here To Witness

Summer is nearly here.  

Here in Austin, TX, we are experiencing the slightly cooler but somewhat clear weather of Spring slipping slowly away.  

The wildflowers are changing, too.  There are still scores of them, but the visible ones are the late bloomers, who will journey into summer heat before fading for another year.  

I enjoy the change in seasons and the new experiences they bring.  It doesn't mean that I won't long for the crisp fall air around August or will dream of a warm, sunny Spring day at the end of winter.  

But there's something about the shift from one season to another that is just magical, and life-giving. 

Today, I am reminded of a quote from Annie Dillard I once read: 

We are here to witness... If we were not here, material events like the passage of seasons would lack even the meager meanings we are able to muster for them.  The show would play to an empty house. 

It's incredible to think about this.  There is nothing that we can do but witness the beauty of each passing season, the glory of a morning filled with birdsong, and an afternoon of shimmering heat abated by a cool stream where we put our feet.  

We cannot stop the songbirds from singing nor prevent the butterflies or bees from making their rounds. We might slow them or shift where they roam by our endless land development into buildings, but we cannot stop them. 

But we can witness all of it, which we were meant to do.  Part of witnessing is to indeed behold what is happening around us, and beholding should, in turn, lead us to a realization about ourselves and God.  

I believe in science, but there is plenty of mystery in the scientific world, just as there is a mystery to faith. The two are not incompatible. If we are willing to have open minds, both can inform one another.  

But if we behold Creation and take the time to fulfill our God-given privilege of witnessing it in all its beauty and wonder, we might put some meaning into the mystery.  

Because what we are witnessing is the joy of a Creator, who delights when we delight in Creation.  

I believe there is love in that kind of creativity. 

It's like laboring over a painting, a sculpture, a well-weeded garden, or planting flowers that are arranged just so.  

Or it's like taking some old piece of furniture and turning it into the centerpiece of our living room, or we take a bunch of disparate pieces of clothing from our closet and create the perfect ensemble for a night out. 

We do it not because we have to but because we love doing it. 

That innate desire to love creating, however, we create, is in us because God is in us, a God who is constantly creating, constantly making things new, and doing it all with love because that's the only way God does anything. 

When we witness creation, truly witness it, we can, if we are willing, take a step beyond merely witnessing to beholding, which requires stepping outside of ourselves enough to actually experience what we are witnessing. 

That is when we might realize something profound. We are surrounded not only by beauty but also by love.  

May we all come to know this and be filled with joy.  

And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with us all, now and forever. Amen.  


Popular posts from this blog

Wuv... True Wuv...

Rapha & Yada - "Be Still & Know": Reimagined

The Lord Needs It: Lessons From A Donkey