I’ve had some conversations recently about Creation. And evolution.
It seems that as with many things in life, these two things have become polarised. If you’re an atheist or a ‘liberal’ Christian you believe in evolution. If you’re a ‘conservative’ Christian, you believe in Creationism (for those of you who don’t know, this is the view that the first couple of chapters of Genesis are the literal way that God created the world).
I like to think of myself as none of these. I don’t like or accept the labels of liberal or conservative and I believe in a God of Creation at the same time as accepting that evolution is currently the best theory we have to fit the evidence that Is available to our God-given intellect.
Genesis is not a science textbook, it’s an affirmation of who God is … the Creator of all things. I’ve no idea how he did it. I’ve no idea at what point in our evolution we developed a soul. I’ve no idea if Neanderthal humans had souls and why God let them die out (or maybe he didn’t since most of us have a small amount of Neanderthal DNA)…
“Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.” Psalm 139:6
But as the tree poem expresses, our attempts to describe can never do the reality justice. Just as the poem about the tree is never going to be as beautiful as the tree itself, so are our explanations of God only a nursery rhyme to the orchestral symphony that is God.
Just as my pink splodges of watercolour can only give a vague but pleasant impression of cherry blossom trees, so can our imaginings only ever be a pale shadow of the true Creator.
And so, I am content to live with mystery. I acknowledge the Creator God who was and is and will be, whatever our scientific endeavours reveal about the ongoing processes of life.
This is my lovely Moleskine sketchbook which I’ve only recently started so I can play with watercolour. I deliberately tried to keep this loose by allowing the colours to run and by flicking blue paint afterwards. In case you find it difficult to read the poem, I’ve reproduced it in full at the end of the post.
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast
A tree that looks at God all day
And lifts her leafy arms to pray.
A tree that may in summer wear,
A nest of robins in her hair,
Upon whose bosom snow has lain
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.