Monday, January 5, 2009

Beauty of Nature Reveals a Beautiful God

Last night, my hubby and I watched the movie The New World together, which is the story of Pocahontas. I had been wanting to see this movie for a while, and I figured there was no better time than now, for I have begun reading the true story of Pocahontas to my children.

The character of this Indian Princess was a beautiful one. She was one of my favorite things about the movie. Pocahontas had such a beautiful spirituality about her. She wandered among God's creation with complete freedom.

Now I am not saying that she, or any of the Indians, worshiped the one true God, but they were indeed in touch with their spirits. They knew there was so much that we do not see with our eyes.

The real Pocahontas became a friend to Captain John Smith from England. In the movie, they are portrayed as falling in love. It was actually quite beautiful to brought to my mind images of Adam and Eve enjoying one another in the garden, before sin defiled their hearts. There is a song by Tom Petty that says: "You belong among the wildflowers; You belong in a boat out at sea; You belong with your love on your arm; You belong somewhere you feel free." Well, really we do. God made Adam, placed him in a gloriously beautiful garden, and then gave him Eve. Eve was made for that- to be among the wildflowers with her love on her arm, free and filled with God's presence.

I also loved how this movie had very poetic parts to it...the deep kind of poetic writing that beckons you to come and listen to it again in order to understand its depth. One of the best aspects of this film was the real nature sounds: birds, crickets, wind, etc.

My hubby and I try to take the children out into nature as often as possible, and we always leave feeling refreshed. To enjoy God's creation is to get a taste of His glory, and His beauty. Romans 1:20 says, "For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature."

It is through what God has made- the natural world- that we can learn about Him: his character, qualities, attributes. He has put these qualities of Himself in what He has made. That is why we feel so refreshed...nature is a taste of God! Psalm 19:1 says, "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard." ALL of nature declares God's glory!

Some photos of the Florida heavens for my readers:

The above scriptures alone are proof of the importance of nature in our world, but I'll leave you all with a bit more to chew on:

"Beauty is white clouds against the blue...the lovely flight and beautiful coloring of birds, in the hills and the wind-flower...what we call nature is all beauty and delight and the person who watches nature closely...has his beauty sense always active, always bringing him joy...The natural world is the expression of God's personality in a form that is within the reach of all of us to not the natural world one of the greatest proofs that there is a God?" (Charlotte Mason)

"Beauty is the essence of God...the first way we know this is through nature, the world God has given us. Scripture says that the created world is filled with the glory of God (Isa. 6:3). In what way? Primarily through its beauty. We had a wet spring here in Colorado, and the wildflowers are coming up everywhere- lupine and wild iris...the aspens have their heart-shaped leaves again, trembling in the slightest breeze. Massive thunderclouds are rolling in, bringing with them the glorious sunsets they magnify. The earth in summer is brimming with beauty, beauty of such magnificence and variety and unembarrassed lavishness, ripe beauty, lush beauty, beauty given to us with such generosity and abundance it is almost scandalous. Nature is not primarily functional. It is primarily beautiful...which is to say beauty is in and of itself a great and glorious good, something we need in large and daily doses (for our God has seen fit to arrange for this)...The whole world is full of God's glory... Oxford Bishop Richard Harries wrote, "It is the beauty of the created order which gives an answer to our questionings about God."...Questions born out of our disappointments, our sufferings, our fears. Augustine said he found answers to his questions in the beauty of the world." (from the book Captivating)

More quotes from the above book:

"I sit outside on a summer evening and just listen and behold and drink it all in, and my heart begins to quiet and peace begins to come into my soul."

"The whole world was made for romance- the rivers and glens, the meadows and beaches...God's version of flowers and chocolates and candlelight dinners comes from sunsets and falling stars, moonlight on lakes and cricket symphonies; warm wind, swaying trees, lush gardens, and fierce devotion. This romancing is immensely personal. It will be as if it has been scripted for your heart. He knows what takes your breath away, knows what makes your heart beat faster."

"Beauty is transcendent- it is our most immediate experience of the eternal. Sometimes the beauty is so deep it pierces us with longing for life as it was meant to be. Beauty reminds us of an Eden we have never known, but somehow know our hearts were created for. Beauty speaks of heaven to come, when all shall be beautiful. It haunts us with eternity. Beauty says: there is a glory calling to you. And if there is a glory, there is a source of glory. What great goodness could have possibly created this? What generosity gave us this to behold? Beauty draws us to God."

"He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end." (Ecclesiastes 3:11 )


lisi said...

hi esther!!! so nice to see you kind friend!!
i love the pictures; your family looks wonderful! the kids have grown, and are precious!
glad to know that you are doing well, and for your family, too~
much love, lisette
oh.. i'm not on facebook... just this blog for now! woohoo! :-)

Roderick. said...

It was a great movie! I just loved the purity of Pocahontas in the movie. Even when she was faced with severely difficult circumstances, she remained pure and simple in heart. After all, it is the pure in heart who see God.


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