Divine Reflections in Living Things and its two companion titles Divine Reflections in Times and Seasons and Divine Reflections in Natural Phenomena, encourage us to take a fresh look at what is around us – to see each living thing and every process as if for the first time. The biblical writers, too, point us to the natural world to recognize divine glories – see Psalm 19 for a striking example. If we can, even briefly, stop and ponder, life and the surrounding world will start to unveil to us beautiful divine qualities such as love, wisdom, peace and joy.
The book proposes that the Divine can be glimpsed in ordinary experiences – and that indeed all of life is sacred and as such teaches us about and brings us closer to God. In other words, an immanent aspect of the Divine pervades all living things, enabling us to see traces of the transcendent reality. A consciousness of the Creator’s presence in the seemingly mundane will help us recognize divine qualities reflected in the creation.
Like the blind men in the Scriptures that Jesus healed, of and by ourselves we are often unable to see the camouflaged Divinity. We may well need to have our eyes opened and the Divine brought to light. Then, with a desire to see and know, by looking deeper below and beyond the surface of the seemingly mundane, we will be able to glimpse the divine presence. Something as ordinary as the household cat, birds nesting in the backyard tree, or a flower bed with butterflies hovering over it – these, as well as myriads of other things around us, will enable us to discern or spot signs of the divine mystery.
This closer and deeper looking at life will also allow us to perceive the unity and interconnection (“inter-being”) of all things. Everything is interrelated and interdependent, as well as containing all else – animals depend on plants for oxygen and sometimes for food, plants need insects for pollination and thus species preservation, and all life needs and contains energy from the sun and water from the clouds for survival.
As we become open to new possibilities of seeing and begin to interpret our experiences in fresh ways, the ordinary transforms itself into the extraordinary and the previously unnoticed becomes a source of marvel!
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Photo: Alex Peckby