Wednesday, October 1, 2008
The theology of Fall
When one drives through the Northeast during October, it is easy to develop a very personal theology of God. The beauty of the changing colors seems so personal, as if God had painted the hills just for me. Today the commute to my office was one in which I could have no music or talk from the radio. No book on tape could add to the breath catching sights that shouted their yellows, oranges and spruce-green contrasts at my eyes. Only the still silent voice of God could accompany the awesome views.
Fall light is quite special too. The grey-blue of clouds force a golden lens to the day-glow orange that some of the maples throw. White birch bark trunks add a stark distinction to the fiery reds of their leaves while the evergreens mark their constancy of near-black against the rolling terrain. Sunlight dances in and out of my ride playing tag with the rain that wants to overcome the day.
Artists, poets, choreographers, and musicians have tried to capture this season. All fall short. It is only the individual eye that can appreciate the work of the Divine in this season. And while it is important to keep in mind the greatness of God’s creation, it is sometimes important to just be silent in the color of a single leaf tinged with all the radiance of the season.
I have not written much since I returned from vacation. The trip was just the kind of quieting of the soul that one wants of a true time of relaxation. Words do not begin to explain the joy of the appreciation of God’s world. It is better to just stand in the awe in silence that to try to circumscribe it with words.
Now, this is a very difficult stance for a preacher. And so I take up my laptop once more to try to find words to fill in for the indescribable, the ineffable, that which cannot be painted verbally. Sometimes it is anger producing to be forced to try to describe that which can never even be fully comprehended. And then there are those times when one must babble on, not saying anything that can really capture what the eye or the heart beholds.
Lord, no wonder there are so few good preachers—it is so hard to do.