Sitting on the dunes at the edge of the Grand Traverse Bay as I write this. Waves gently lap the shore. The sun is coming up behind me. The ripples on the water dance in that magical first light of day. I wonder why it is that God has allowed so much of the original wonder that He created on this planet to filter through the thick fog of sin. We have badly broken this place and it seems to me that God should have abandoned us to our own devices...with the natural consequence that complete chaos and brokenness become the absolute rule. A kind of permanent post-nuclear winter from the fallout of the sin-bomb. And, truthfully, to a large extent, that is true of the world. Yet there are still moments of beauty, tranquility and peace. Like this one.
As I walk out to the waters edge this morning, two young rabbits hop themselves out of my way. A pair of mallards float peacefully in the shallows. The sun is warming my back and it feels almost personal. The wild flowers that crest the tips of the grasses on the dunes display a beauty that seems wasteful and extravagant. Grass, this beautiful? Why?
When I approach life as though I still live in Eden I am disappointed and deeply unsatisfied. There's just too much evidence to the contrary. Too many disappointments. Too many broken things. Too many broken people. Too much broken me. When I see this world as a post-atomic rubblescape that should hold nothing but despair and yet instead holds these occasional moments of quiet peace, beauty and wonder, I'm satisfied, content and awestruck at how unfair it is that, though we pulled the trigger and devastated this place, God still allows so much of His original creative plan to leak through onto our landfill. And what leaks through from the original Eden is often so unspoiled and pure. Like these wildflowers.
Why the wildflowers, God? Perhaps you want us to glimpse a bit of heaven and hunger for it. Too often, though, we see this place as heaven and, even though we have a sense somewhere in our souls that it just can't be, we try to structure the hell out of our lives and orchestrate 24/7 heaven on our broken planet. The amazing thing is how close some of us come to achieving just that. And then along comes cancer and the landfill snaps back into focus. It seems to me that I should be living with a worldview that expects cancer, and along comes a simple sunrise that shatters, for a moment, my worldview of brokenness...and in that moment I'm reminded that the world of pain is temporary and that Eden is coming.
Come quickly Lord Jesus.