© Hilary F. Marckx, all rights reserved
How are the many ways
I have come to know God?
Can I count the clouds?
Are the drops of rain numbered?
How many times did the sun have to set
in glorious beauty before I believed?
Wrapped in darkness, on the side of a mountain,
deep in a forest,
waist-deep in too many rivers to count,
parched on the sands of a desert,
stung by the wind,
and lost in the sun’s glare on a snow-field:
in all these places I learned of the
one whom I have come to
know and love and trust and worship — God.
And so, with each new Spring leaf
and bird call and faraway night sound
I hear the voice of this
and I say, “I hear you, I listen…”
# # #
Sirach 42:15-25 — New Revised Standard Version
I will now call to mind the works of the Lord,
and will declare what I have seen.
By the word of the Lord his works are made;
and all his creatures do his will.
The sun looks down on everything with its light,
and the work of the Lord is full of his glory.
The Lord has not empowered even his holy ones
to recount all his marvelous works,
which the Lord the Almighty has established
so that the universe may stand firm in his glory.
He searches out the abyss and the human heart;
he understands their innermost secrets.
For the Most High knows all that may be known;
he sees from of old the things that are to come.
He discloses what has been and what is to be,
and he reveals the traces of hidden things.
No thought escapes him,
and nothing is hidden from him.
He has set in order the splendors of his wisdom;
he is from all eternity one and the same.
Nothing can be added or taken away,
and he needs no one to be his counselor.
How desirable are all his works,
and how sparkling they are to see!
All these things live and remain forever;
each creature is preserved to meet a particular need.
All things come in pairs, one opposite the other,
and he has made nothing incomplete.
Each supplements the virtues of the other.
Who could ever tire of seeing his glory?
# # #
The Works of God in Nature
© Hilary F. Marckx, all rights reserved
When I am in remote and isolated wilderness, I come to know two things that I would not know otherwise: the fragility of my own life, and the immensity of the works of God. In these places I am left to the capacity of my own resources and strength for my safety. Impressed upon my mind is the absolute intricacy of the fabric of Creation.
My understanding of the work of God in nature is that while I believe in the process of evolution, I also believe that evolution is the process of God within all things that exist. I believe that while, God is much more than what is created, it is impossible to separate one from the other.
I think it was Augustine who (and I quote roughly from my memory) said, “How can the average person learn of God from a book, when a book costs as much as the house in which they live. They must learn then from what is writ on each leaf, each grain of sand, each droplet of water—these are the pages upon which God writes!” Augustine either said this or it was attributed to him, but either way it is a powerful statement on the relationship between nature and God.
In the mountains, in the desert, on a stream, by the ocean, in my back yard, I am continually struck dumb by the wondrous Mystery that is God. Nature is my teacher.
I learn of grace of glory, of splendor, of power, of wonder, of humility, of the smallness of myself, and how little I understand of those with whom I share life and breath. Finches, titmouse, eagles, hawks, foxes, cougar, deer, bear, trout, salmon, bass: all these teach me what I ignorant of in terms of language, need, interaction, and interrelation with all the entities of nature and God.
I have come to believe that what is termed, The Call of the Wild, is in the main, a lifting of praise. My vision of flowers is of them reaching their whole beings up to God in Praise. The call and response of birds reminds me of the singing of the old gospels. But the big lesson I learn from the workings of nature is that within the process of it all there seems to be an authenticity of each creature to itself. How often I forget who I am, and how often I am reminded of my own reality as I walk in nature! For I am one of those works of God in nature. Nature is indeed a sacred text to be read.
# # #
The Book of Nature
© Hilary F. Marckx, BMI, all rights reserved
As a Soft Breeze Blows Across a Meadow,
It Writes Words on the Surface of My World.
And the Sands Drifting Gently on an Ocean’s Beach,
Write a Book of the Grandeur in My Heart.
And the Words Are Written Brightly,
on the Edge of the Rainbow
Where the Light Harbors Laughter
and the Dancing Colors Linger.
Let the Day Compose the Sunshine,
Let the Colors Note the Shadows,
Let the Sun Write the Words Down,
of the Beauty in Our Hearts.
Gracious Bubbles Write upon a Leafy-tree Stream
And the Bubbles and the Leaves Jot down a Page.
Up Above, the Clouds Engrave the Changes on the Year,
And Seasons Turn the Pages That We Read.