What Kind of a God Does That?

giant-tausendfuer-346165_640In college, I was forced to take a science course. Not a fan of this requirement. Dr. Andrus, a petite, exacting, fireball seemed really excited about science, so I knew I’d better get over my distaste and jump into my assignments with appropriate gusto.

Our first assignment was to stare at a candle flame and write one hundred observations about it.

One hundred unique observations.

About a single candle flame.

Watching paint dry suddenly seemed appealing.

Once that assignment was completed, she told us to find an insect, in the dirt behind our classroom, and write one hundred observations about said insect. Seriously?

There weren’t many choices in the dirt. I couldn’t imagine touching a wood louse and ants seemed mighty self-explanatory, so I picked up a hard-shelled centipede, the kind that curl up into a ball when confronted (like me), thinking that perhaps, in desperation, I might be able to count each of its legs as a separate observation. I stared at it for hours.

And I actually learned something amazing from that assignment. If you had asked me about centipedes before, I’d have told you they’re brown and boring. Upon close inspection of this tiny creation, however, I discovered an intricate design in its tiny exoskeleton. Swirls, colors, patterns, absolute beauty on the back of a centipede. What could possibly be the point of that?

What kind of God places exquisite artwork on the spine of a bug that lives under logs and that most of us pass over without a thought?

This thought came to mind again when, years later, I was teaching science to my own children, and we watched a video of penguins in Antarctica. Theemperor-penguins-429127_640 three of us howled with laughter at the comical birds and their uninhibited antics when suddenly it occurred to me: What kind of God puts such delightfully funny creatures on a continent that, for years, was unseen by humans? Who was the show for? Who delighted in these creatures before we had the technology to discover them, film them, and notice them for the great act they are?

Lately, photos of beautiful sea slugs have been circulating around the Internet, and again, I shake my head in wonder at a God who does such lavishly creative work and places it at the bottom of the sea. What kind of a God does that?

I’ll tell you – a God who delights in creation. A God bursting with such unfathomable creative energy that He splashes His handiwork wherever He touches. No palette goes to waste for a God who is a Creator at heart. A God who has instilled the joy of discovery in His highest creation – humankind. Like a mother or father who hides love notes for their children or leaves trinkets around at Christmas, so our God hides treasures for us for the simple joy of watching us find them.

What kind of God does this? A God with a heart full of love for those who create with His same energy, alone, unnoticed, and hidden in the most unexpected places, fearing that no one will ever see or hear or read or experience the marvel of their work. He has coded the universe to let our creative hearts know – none of it goes to waste, nothing is unseen, no one goes unnoticed. He is aware of it all and each creative soul adds to the amazing masterpiece that one day all will see.

What kind of a God does this? Leaps, bounds, dances through time and space creating magic and wonder with a touch, a breath, a bubbling cosmic laugh? He goes by one name – Jesus. “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:15-17

In Him all things hold together. He sees you, loved one, even if you’re currently living in the dirt under a log. One day, He’ll draw your beauty out into the light and we will all gasp in wonder at what He’s created in you.

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    The Conversation

  1. Keith says:

    This is your blog, Lori?
    Always appreciated our time at SCCA.
    Blessed days

    • Patricia says:

      As I read this, I wondered “How long would I have to stare at a flame to come up with 100 observations?” How long would I have to gaze upon God to come up with 100 observations? I don’t spend near enough time gazing. Thanks for reminding me that He reveals His beauty through His beautiful creation and that all I have to do is take the time to look, ponder and be awed.

  2. Cathy Chung says:

    Love this image of God! In teaching my confirmation students, I often tell God is clapping his hands gleefully when we uncover a new scientific truth. He created this ‘puzzle’ to be discovered and he’s cheering us on. Science and religion don’t clash.

  3. p. says:

    Beautiful! Smiling big here. Thank you!

  4. Kay says:

    Thanks for your “observations.” I too will gaze at God today.