I bumble from the dark house into a dim field that is waking to his approach. A million things wait here, just as they waited yesterday, and each will have its own sunrise, its warming from frost and dew, its banquet of light.
He is every year the same, but every minute different, so perfect and constant in his ways that he is all but forgotten. We live in his light and cannot imagine darkness.
We speak of many things, often with loud voices, but we don’t speak much of him. We don’t speak much of the plants and animals that somehow grow, the brain and heart and muscles that somehow move, the many unsolved mysteries of which our life consists.
I read the news at night and then bumble into this field every morning to remember how the world is run without us, to see small and beautiful things that are wise in their own way, grateful, and even glad.
It would be different if this were a broken place, if our screaming righted some wrong in the world, but we seem hardly to notice what is right in the world – to be grateful or even glad.
This is not a broken place. It is a place dense with miracles we can no longer see, as full of beauty as we are full of blindness. And if we are blind to the wonders that surround us – if we don’t begin at least with some curiosity and gratitude for this strangely elegant world – our plans can hardly be described as vision.
And so, I propose a test for those who scream. Let those who would change the world begin with appreciation for the world that gave them life. Let those who would change a woman first demonstrate proper awe of the miracle known as Woman. Let those who would mutilate a man prove they understand the responsibility of Man.
Let those who would erode our gratitude for this world first show they are even capable of gratitude. Let those who would revise our morals prove they are capable of morality.
The attacks on our culture come not from above but below. Our growing disrespect for Man and Woman and life itself do not arise from something new we have discovered, but from something old we have forgotten.
The world is full of small and beautiful things that are wise in their own way, grateful and even glad. In this, even the grass is wiser than us.
Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
let the sea resound, and all that is in it.
Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them;
let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.
Let all creation rejoice before the LORD, for he comes,
he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
and the peoples in his faithfulness.
But ask the animals, and they will teach you,
or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you;
or speak to the earth, and it will teach you,
or let the fish in the sea inform you.
Which of all these does not know
that the hand of the LORD has done this?
In his hand is the life of every creature
and the breath of all mankind.