Dear Kids,

He could have put us on a great, flat ping-pong table. God, I mean.

If naked, efficient existence was the point, then a ping-pong table would have been just the thing. Of course it would’ve needed to be big, really big…but “the world as table” is certainly imaginable. He could have painted it all white, too. Nothing fancy. He could have done without the whole beautiful, rolling, landscape thing. No poofy dandelions. No “wet” water. No sunsets or peacock feathers. He could have, but he didn’t. Do you ever wonder why?

Jesus’ people have always answered that a big white table just wouldn’t serve God’s end. You know, in the same way that sleeping in a wet bed or taking your brother or sister to the prom just doesn’t cut it. It’s imaginable, but not worth the trouble. There was more to food than fuel, more to legs than movement, more to love than reproduction. More! And that ‘more’ was wrapped up in all the unnecessary, impractical and seemingly superfluous stuff. The big white table isn’t sufficient, because our God envisioned creation as having something to say. Something to declare. And a big white table just isn’t up to saying it.

Creation was meant to state, “God is like this. God is like that.” He’s a rock, a father, an ocean and a lion. Not those things exactly. They’re creatures. He’s Creator. But each has something to say about him. Each declares his glory. The whole creation, all of it, pulls on our sleeve and points upward to her source when we give her our attention. The whole earth is full of the glory of God. That was the idea, anyway. Since men and women began mistaking the advertisement for the real thing, Creation had gone wrong. But twisted or not, she keeps on declaring, none the less. While the naked bodies of husband and wife have something wonderfully important to say about the God who first dreamed up such a thing, the bleating terror of the baby wildebeest being flayed by lion’s claws shows the reality of the same thing when love is removed. We’re surrounded by images. Some of them “were from the beginning”. Others came with the fall. Everything pulls at our sleeve.

I want you to think about a particular creature. Tell me if she was present in Eden before the damned serpent caused our parents to question the Fatherhood of their God. I’m speaking of Spookiness. Did she exist when our God declared all things good, or did she arrive only when the situation had changed and the new fallen reality required new ugly images? I believe she was always there. I think she will still be there at the very end, because she has something to say about God that needs saying. Finding what that might mean will require that we take a more direct look at our God. I hope to do that next.