June 28, 2014 § Leave a comment
I recall our recent vacation in Colorado as a hike through the historical reality of the book of Genesis. The beauty of creation is obvious, making its Creator obvious, but much of the beauty in places like Glenwood Canyon is actually the result of destruction.
Soaring cliffs with diagonal stratigraphic stripes echo from a era when violent collisions of tectonic plates thrusted pieces of earth at all angles, forming the Rockies and vast mountain ranges all over the globe. God’s original creation was once baptized in a flood of judgment, reshaping it into a different world, yet one we can still admire and see His hand in.
Pristine hidden mountain lakes, waterfalls, and gardens remind us of the even more ancient history of Eden, before perfection was poisoned by man’s disobedience. On a particular trail, a lizard scurried across our path, a harmless version of the legged serpent who prodded Eve toward the forbidden fruit with the challenge, “Did God really say…?”
In Colorado, and elsewhere, that same challenge to God’s created order lingers. Passing through Denver, we visited a cake baker scorned by the new moral regime for “insensitivity” toward alternative forms of marriage. While visiting our niece there, we passed by the oddly and aptly named “Pridefest”, a celebration and manifestation of that challenge of old: “‘Did God really say’ that a man be joined to his wife?”
If art is a reflection of the good, the beautiful and the true, then nature qualifies as art. Breathtaking canyons and scenic vistas born out of destruction are a picture of God’s redemption of the lost. That’s the good in it. The beauty is obvious, and the truth is what it says about the Creator it glorifies—that He is big, creative, just, powerful, yet loving enough to restore sinful men made righteous through the destruction of His Son (and our sin) on a cross.
At night, the stars we can see but cannot count once illustrated God’s promise of new life through Abraham’s offspring. From the true blue expanse above, painted brightly at dawn and dusk, to the life-giving rivers that twist through canyons as a remnant of holy wrath, creation is a historical art gallery of beauty from destruction. God will one Day destroy and remake the world one last time, and He can also remake hearts so we can forever hike those trails too.
In the meantime, “Sing for joy, you heavens, for the Lord has done this; shout aloud, you earth beneath. Burst into song, you mountains, you forests and all your trees, for the Lord has redeemed…”