The other morning I saw a sunrise that was so beautiful, it took my breath away. I was in the car driving my sweet girls to school and this sunrise was coming over the downtown area lighting up the buildings with a splendor that only God our creator could create. My girls were talking to each other like they normally do and I was thinking to myself, this is a perfect moment God and I am grateful for it. I don’t understand how people can claim there is no God when those colors of orange, yellow, and red, swirl together in such a way that the sky is lit up in praise of God our creator. Now I’m not much of an artist but when I see the sky painted in brilliant colors, or the bright green color of a lizard, or the intricate pattern of a child’s hand, I am moved and know with absolute certainty that there is a God and what God creates is beautiful.
Right now, I am reading a wonderful book called This I Believe 2: More Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women. It is a second collection This I Believe essays and it gathers seventy-five essayists—ranging from famous to previously unknown—completing the thought that begins the book’s title. The essays in this book are powerfully moving and at several points I have had to put the book down to have a little cry.
Last night, I read an excerpt by Phan Thị Kim Phúc, the woman most known for the picture of her running naked after a napalm bombing during the Vietnam War. She talked about how she spent several years angry at the world and then one day she found it in her heart to forgive those who had done this to her. Her story is powerful and it reminded me of our ability as humans to create good in this world or create harm. As Christians, I think the greatest and more important call on our lives is to create beauty and bring words of healing and wholeness to those who are hurting.
I addressed this in a prayer that I wrote a few weeks back for worship:
Creator God, majestic and wonderful are the works of your hands. You set the sun in the heavens to warm our days. You rolled the moon and stars in your hands, and flung them across the skies to light up the night. You formed us in your image and breathed into us the breath of life. We spend our days immersed in your love, breathing in your grace and love with every breath that we take. We spend our nights filled with the assurance of your presence. Your love is everlasting, and we come into your presence with thanksgiving, praise, and wonder. As people who know brokenness and sorrow, we are grateful for your everlasting presence in our lives.
You call us to be co-creators in this world. We are called to create places of transformation. We are called to create words of healing and justice. We are called to create space in our lives for you and for others. We are called to create environments of love and grace.
Remind us as we stand in Awe of a sunrise or the intricacies of the pattern on a child’s hand to remember that you created us and called us to continue to create beautiful things in this world.
1Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights!
2Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his host!
3Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all you shining stars!
4Praise him, you highest heavens, and you waters above the heavens!
5Let them praise the name of the Lord, for he commanded and they were created.
6He established them forever and ever; he fixed their bounds, which cannot be passed.
7Praise the Lord from the earth, you sea monsters and all deeps,
8fire and hail, snow and frost, stormy wind fulfilling his command!
9Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars!
10Wild animals and all cattle, creeping things and flying birds!
11Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of the earth!
12Young men and women alike, old and young together!
13Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his glory is above earth and heaven.
14He has raised up a horn for his people, praise for all his faithful, for the people of Israel who are close to him. Praise the Lord!