I doubt any of us would disagree with the idea that God is present in nature. Nature is one of the places that all but the staunchest of atheist report experiences of the divine. The fingerprint of the creator, general revelation as theologians would call it. Nature is one of the amazing places where God communicates with us.
Before we get too literal about it…let’s think about what communication means. Popular statistics state that 93% of communication is non-verbal. I’ve been known to complain that God just doesn’t speak clearly to me…but what if the content of God’s communication doesn’t fit into our linguistic categories? What if…much like we have to…God has to use beautiful sunsets, and butterflies, and intricate sea shells because words are just so inadequate? Think about how we describe love or hope or peace or relationship…its poetry using all kinds of examples and metaphors. In the words of the honored theologians N’Sync: “Your love is like an river, peaceful and deep” or this description of peace as “the calm after the storm” or “hope is a sunrise reminding you that you get another day.” What if all of the world around us, all of creation, is God communicating to us in ways just too beautiful for words.
Scripture would seem to agree in the eloquent poetry of the creation story. Even in the story of Job…the story of the man who faces countless trials in his life, but remains confident in his God (well…mostly, but that’s a story for another day). Job 12:7-10 says, “But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.”
What if all of it is God communicating with us? Communicating more eloquent and accurate expressions of love and hope and peace than our human words could ever capture. Are we listening? And how are we responding?
Take a few minutes, take your kids and go on a little hunt. You can actually collect, or just carefully study and recall, something that calls to you out there. You don’t have to think of any deep meaning behind it. You don’t have to have some fancy explanation, but just some object that calls to you.
What did you find? Describe it…
How did it call to you? What does it mean?
What is it communicating? Does it call forth a response?