Glimpsing the Creator




“The five senses are the minister of the soul.”
Leonard da Vinci

Are you able to see?

The question is not whether you have two functioning eyes. Rather, the focus is on what you perceive with your eyes.

While a junior in college, I wondered if my life really mattered. One day, I observed a familiar scene: The lush trees and bright sky visible from the balcony of my second-floor apartment.

Lush trees and blue sky
“God must have a huge heart.” These whispered words indicate that, for the first time, I perceive the meaning of creation: This grandeur is the handiwork of a Magnificent Designer.

In this moment, I realize God is personal. Though I attended church numerous times as a child, for the first time as an adult I now welcome the presence of God.

Like me, perhaps you frequently fail to notice how the creation connects you with your Creator. All too often, we escape the natural world in favor of a televised or computerized replica of reality.

We need to see the Creator as we observe the creation. We need to connect personally with the Living God.

With this in mind, I journey a few miles to a denominational retreat center. There is no television, radio or internet—-just the magnificent beauty of a forest, the gentle ripples of a placid lake, and the friendliness of fellow sojourners.

Calm lake with beautiful sky and trees
A twenty-foot wooden bridge leads to tiny “Prayer Island.” My teenage son at my side, we sit and contemplate water, trees and clouds. I realize once again the connection with the Source of my being.

“Lord, help us be grateful for the miracles of life surrounding us. Remind us that our lives are your gift. Enable us to recognize your purposes for our lives. May we perceive the wonders of your creation each day.”

When we see the creation—-really see it—-we glimpse the Creator. Our problems remain, but now they are part of the larger canvass of life. Our perspective changes as we realize God is for us and with us.


Artistry of the Divine

For Leonardo da Vinci, sight is supreme among the five senses. “He who loses his sight loses his view of the universe, and is like one interred alive who can still move about and breathe in his grave.”

The craftsmanship of da Vinci’s artistry is astonishing. But the miraculous creation of the eye that enables “the divine art of painting” also prompts da Vinci’s praise: “O, thou most excellent of all God’s creations! What hymns can do justice to thy nobility; what peoples, what tongues, sufficiently describe thine achievements?”

We need to see the Creator as we observe the creation. We need to connect personally with the Living God.

This expanded perception will also connect us with others gifted by God with life in this world. Recall Luke’s story of a thankful prostitute (7:36-50). She is so grateful to Jesus for the magnificence of his mercy that she graces his feet with her tears and perfume. But Simon, a religious leader, continues to sit in judgment of this woman.

Jesus’ queries this leader: “Do you see this woman?”

Jesus: Do you see this woman?
Yes, Simon sets his eyes upon her—but he does not see her as a person. Instead, he categorizes, labels and dismisses her as a “sinner.”  Ironically, it is the disregarded woman who demonstrates the ability to see what really matters.

It is easy to side with Jesus. But how would we react if a prostitute walked into our church?  Do we see her? Do we welcome her? Do we categorize, label and dismiss those we deem sinners?

The creation reminds us that God is personal, that God’s mercy is as grand as the universe is expansive. Indeed, we need to see the Creator as we observe the creation. We need to connect personally with the Living God.

This classic QuoflectionTM from September, 2003 comes with a recommendation to read Michael Gelb’s book, How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day.

©2007 Harry Rix. All rights reserved.

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