Pocahontas is a cute Disney princess. She paints with the colors of the wind. I'm not bothered by pantheistic delusions, but my daughters haven't developed discernment. The other night I asked, "Do trees really have spirits?"
They both answer "no" like good Sunday School students. I can tolerate rote replies while the girls are young. But then Anna Laura speaks up: "Dad, do the rocks cry out?"
"I tell you," he replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out." - Luke 19: 40I smiled at the opportunity to explain a simple truth. I said, "And the Bible even says the heavens declare God's glory, and the stars sing." How confusing are these characterizations of inanimate things.
"While the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?" - Job 38: 7I asked, "Does this mean rocks and stars are alive?" They didn't know what to say. After all, the Bible says they cry and sing. I understood their hesitation.
So, as they lay in bed, I forewent a bedtime story for a 2 minute theology lesson.
Something like this:
Once there was a man. He could not speak. One day he walked into an art studio. Nobody knew him. They just watched as he picked up a paintbrush and began to paint.
Everyone was amazed because, as he painted, the canvas began to come alive. He had a wonderful way with shapes and colors. The painting was emotive and wonderful.
Now what do we know about this man? We know a lot – we know he is a painter. We know he is a talented painter. And we know he has a style and a way with colors.
But how do we know this? He is mute. He did not tell us. It is because the painting told us. Indeed, the painting "cried out" that this is an artist! But did the painting really talk?
What if I asked you to create a rock? I don't mean from dirt and clay. I mean from nothing at all. I wanted you to CREATE a rock. Could you do it? Of course not.
But God created a rock. He made it have shape, color, and texture. He gave it mass, and molecules, and created an entire subatomic physic to hold it together. Wow.
So, does the rock say something about God? Is like the painting and the painter? Yes. Painting is impressive, but CREATING something? It declares God's glory just because it is there.
And so do the heavens, the stars, and everything else. God created everything. And everything was created by Him. And if you and I don't proclaim his glory, all of creation will (and does).
I asked them again if the painting really talked. And I asked if rocks really talked. With confidence, they answered "no". Ah, the confidence of understanding.
I praised them; and with a kiss I tucked them in bed.