We are the created, along with everything else we can see. In the Bible, the book of Romans says that God uses things which are made to clearly communicate His power and nature. The writer of Romans is talking about why the unrighteous person is without excuse because she has been plainly shown what God is like. She can see evidence in the trees, in the seasons, in osmosis, in the circulatory system, in storms...everything. So if the unrighteous person has been given eyes to see evidence of God in all things created, how much more should we, who have been made righteous, see evidence of God’s power and nature with each breath we take. An orchestra of reminders are everywhere for us. The Creator of all that we can see and everything we cannot see has set within the created fiber an ongoing vibration, a ripple effect surrounding each thing that continually sends out whispers and shouts about the power and nature of the Creator. The trees don’t try to do this; it’s placed into their “treeness” to remind us that God is.
The same is true of people. We also are the created. Without intending to, the Gospel can pour forth in movie themes, the brushstrokes of paintings, the plucking of a stringed instrument, the characters in a novel. We don’t try to do this; it’s placed into our createdness so that we unwittingly redound to God’s power and nature. The Truth leaps from pages and wafts through theaters and like liquidy tonal satin, it flows over the vocal chords of the most unlikely of creatures.
Have you ever watched a movie and had a visceral reaction to it and wondered why? This has happened to me in the oddest of places and I finally got to the point in life where I became too curious to stop wondering after the credits ran. I went to see the remake of the Lone Ranger a few years ago. It definitely got mixed reviews, but all I know is that in the dark of that movie theatre, my husband and two daughters surrounding me, I found myself working hard to hold back an outright sob when the Lone Ranger finally comes to the rescue. When the William Tell Overture began to play near the end of the movie, it was over for me. I couldn’t hold it in any longer. Lord, what is going on here?! As clear as a bell, this is what I heard, “There is nothing new under the sun. The pure-hearted hero atop a brilliant white horse, coming to save the day and set all things right? Read the end of the Book!” Revelation 19:11 says, “Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war.” It goes on to say that on his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, “King of kings and Lord of lords.” In the darkness of that theatre, my soul was resonating with the Truth that God will make all things right, He will set things in their place and He will do it when and how He sees fit, even if it seems too late to my limited sensibility.
Another time, I was minding my own business watching an animated movie with my youngest. An animated movie, for Pete’s sake! There it was. The Gospel pouring out of the mouth of Horton who heard a Who! The basic premise is that an elephant named Horton hears a little tiny sound from a little tiny speck of dust and realizes that there is another world he never knew about and now he can’t get anyone to believe him. The head of the jungle is a harsh and no-nonsense kangaroo. She tells Horton, “If you can’t see, hear or feel something, it doesn’t exist.” Enlightenment at its best! Horton is undaunted in his belief that another world exists even though he nor anyone else can see it. Two vastly different worlds have miraculously crossed paths. I was reminded that in this world, the gospel is foolish. 1 Corinthians 2:14 says it this way, “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.” To us, the “word of the cross” is the power of God. We don’t need consensus for this to be the Truth. We need faith. Horton reminded me that appearing foolish doesn’t need to move the needle for me. I know the Truth. That is enough to fuel me for the rest of my life in my desire to go to anyone who will listen so that they can hear me rant and rave about a world they’ve never seen, whose King has come to save our own.
Every time I hear the Italian song, “Nessun Dorma,” I get chills. If that ditty does not ring a bell, it’s usually the one opera song that even the non-aficionado recognizes. It’s the song that Luciano Pavrotti made famous. Youtube it! Intrigued by my autonomic response to the song, I began to investigate its meaning. The singer of the song has fallen passionately in love with a cold and cruel princess. She has threatened to kill him and everyone in her kingdom if she does not find out his name. Night is falling and he begins to sing this hauntingly beautiful song. The aria’s final crescendo proclaims “Vincero! Vincero! Vincero!” He is saying, “I win! I win! I win!” Before he ever does win the heart of the woman, he is declaring that he will be victorious. At the end of the opera by Giacomo Puccini, he does win her heart and declares his true name to be Love. That’s the Gospel. It’s Hosea and Gomer. It’s the Groom coming for His Bride. It’s Jesus shouting, “It is finished!” before He ever rises from the dead. It’s God coming for me, His beloved, while I was still a wretch. He wins! He wins! He wins! He gets what He comes after. He finds what He’s looking for. This Truth poured out of the mouth of Pavrotti. Each of us will have a time when all is dark and bleak. The scene in which you find yourself right now might be daunting. Let the chords of an Italian opera find you and remind you that God wins...every time.
It is easy to look around at a world that is sliding hopelessly into a morass and be discouraged and wonder where God is. My prayer is that God would sensitize you to His voice. His creation is hard-wired to tell you about Him, whether they mean to or not. He is speaking. The whole earth is repeating what He’s saying. Whoever has ears, let her hear.