The Wild Rose
Sometimes hidden from me
in daily custom and in trust,
so that I live by you unaware
as by the beating of my heart,
suddenly you flare in my sight,
a wild rose blooming at the edge
of thicket, grace and light
where yesterday was only shade,
and once more I am blessed, choosing
again what I chose before.
This is a late Valentine entry. Wendell Berry says things so much better than most. I certainly have a hard time saying it better.
“But love, sooner or later, forces us out of time. It does not accept that limit. Of all that we feel and do, all the virtues and all the sins, love alone crowds us at last over the edge of the world. For love is always more than a little strange here. It is not explainable or even justifiable. It is itself the justifier. We do not make it. If it did not happen to us, we could not imagine it. It includes the world and time as a pregnant woman includes her child whose wrongs she will suffer and forgive. It is in the world but is not altogether of it. It is of eternity. It takes us there when it most holds us here.” pg. 249
A few years ago, after preaching the first sermon in a series on Genesis, a woman approached me thanking me for teaching through the first few chapters of that book without reference to such things as the age of the earth, evolution or creationism. Her experience with the book of Genesis had primarily been in the realm of such discussions instead of the God’s care for creation and his ongoing mission in the world.
Creation matters deeply. In part because it is God’s. However, it is also important because creation is where God does his work and where we do ours.
Eugene Peterson quotes the inimitable Wendell Berry:
It is not allowable to love the Creation according to the purposes one has for it, any more than it is allowable to love one’s neighbor in order to borrow his tools.
The creation deserves to be loved and cared for because it is God’s. It is also the place where we find ourselves participating in God’s work. Peterson continues:
The Christian life is the practice of living in what God has done and is doing. We want to know the origins of things not to satisfy our curiosity about fossils and dinosaurs and the “big bang” but so that we can live out of our origins. We don’t want our lives to be tacked on to something peripheral. We want to live origin-ally, not derivatively. (pg. 54)