Absolute Wonder


His Creation is love.  To be certain of this, all I need to do is step outside and walk into the woods. There, under the fir trees next to the creek – my view is filled with the absolute wonder and beauty of creation.  I spy ferns pushing up through the soil. They uncoil their tightly wound fiddle-heads, quickly expanding into sword like plumes of ridge-edged leaves…and wait. The fern counts on a breeze or the brush of a passing deer to catch some of the millions of powdery spores released from their sori clusters in hopes of reproducing another verdant grove of ferns. Most days I see them as “just a fern”, but oh how imaginative is the lifecycle that takes them from a microscopic spore to lush forest floor inhabitant. Today I am in awe.

Descending down the trail to the waters’ edge my thoughts turn to the miracle of metamorphosis. There, I used the word.
For example: As in how a frog egg bursts open to release a tadpole that swims like a fish…
then sprouts legs to become a frog; all in about 6 to 12 weeks, and completely unique at every stage of development.
To me, nothing compares to the intricacies of a moth (or butterfly) that only moments ago emerged from its secretive cocoon (or chrysalis). Here on the branch next to its discarded cocoon, an all-new version of itself dries its wings and rests. I wonder if it ponders that some 5 to 21 days earlier it was a lumpy caterpillar! If so, the thought is brief as once the wings are ready it takes flight, as if it has always been doing so.

absolute wonder of God's creation
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I stand still just long enough to witness a hummingbird dart past my head…Whoa!
The dart-like bird makes an explosive 90 degree turn straight upward into the sky.
It ascends rapidly to attain a predefined altitude way up high – then to instantly reverse direction and rush down at full speed to Earth, instantly pulling out of the dive at the precise second when the velocity will sufficiently vibrate its outer tail feathers like a clarinet reed to create a loud “chirp” sound.
AND THEN this incredibly tiny bird does it all over again!
The hummer lives in a time zone all its own. It must see me, a mere human – as more akin to a concrete statue or slow loris (sloth).
I walk…slowly…on.
The steeply sloped trail I walk is composed of dirt and fir tree needles. I take care to watch my steps, not wanting to harm any beetles, slugs, or millipedes.

The silence is broken by a rhythm of hard pecking sounds.
I look upward. 
From a perch high in the canopy of tall firs, a woodpecker watches the (slow) human below.  I see it peer from beside a bored-out hole in a long dead snag, waiting for my boots to stir up these very same creatures I am being mindful of.  Truly, they would make a fine meal for this well engineered bird with a head built for hammering.
I recall how a woodpecker can hammer and never experience a concussion because their brain is protected; not by cushioning – but by its tiny size and weight.  A smile crosses my face, my senses overcome by the detail, intricacy, and absolute care in how everything is created.

I consider how a conifer seed so tiny, released from its woody cone encasement – and only under certain conditions – can grow into a mighty tree that stretches to the sky.

Or that my attention easily becomes transfixed on the smallest of insects as it works its way through the underbrush looking for food, shelter, and a mate. I mutter something like “you go – beautiful you”. Insects ignore such noise. Again, slow human syndrome. Albeit, tiny bugs cannot work a remote or use Google search, thus cannot view images of the Earth from space. What do I see? We live on a sphere, delicate and alone among the cold expanse of stars. A brilliantly bright planet with an amazingly complex atmosphere surrounding us, bathing us in warmth – but not frying us to a crisp. This brings my soul to a place of sacred wonder.
Knowing that the Earth never gets water added to it – nor does water disappear is both a relief and an astonishing fact.  A leaf falls to land near my feet, reminding me that gravity secures everything and keeps it all in perfect place and balance.

The ground here in these woods is but a microcosm amidst a planet spinning on its axis, while rotating around the Sun, in a synchronized movement that never changes. 
Our bodies heal themselves. How is this possible?
We can reproduce, giving birth to children who are equipped with all the same organs as us. Every creature can make a replacement of itself through their DNA.
The variety of birds, animals, insects and spores, bacteria, virus, and untold created creatures all made perfect. There’s a framework of beauty and love; intelligence, and the most intricate systems built into every created thing.

Nothing is random, nothing is incomplete.

My bootlace is frayed, the tiny plastic tip long gone and pressed into the dirt of another trail somewhere in the past.  I mentally note to myself that new laces must be fitted before the next outing. This in turn brings thought to how we humans can build a product that will ‘work’ – but only for a while – until it breaks. Our hands can shape something out of a material but once that material fails, we need to make it again.

Not so with God’s created things.

God creates a life form that can replicate itself, multiply and divide until it reaches the form it needs to be. And we have no part in this.
It is divine and it is holy, and it is completely beyond our understanding.
As a species, we have made nothing that exists on this planet, but simply borrow from it to build the things we want. Everything is already here for us to use wisely (or to corrupt).

His creation is love. Perfect.

“The earth is filled with Your love O LORD, teach me Your decrees”

psalm 119:64
By Jeffery Plummer
Insights for living holy in Christ, Jeffery Plummer


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