Turning for home after my
twilight walk, I saw the dark creeping in, spreading over the weakening light
of day. I wondered at the muddy color of the sky.
I thought to myself, “How
would I describe this sky? Without any idea of the time of
day, it would look like night falling, or a storm brewing. Reaching for
adjectives in the small vocabulary room in my mind, I failed to find a way to
describe what I was seeing.
Visiting different blogs, I
see gorgeous photographs of flowers, sunsets, families, spider webs and
backyards. I’m sure you’ve seen them too. Some just make you gasp out loud, don’t
But I bet if you met the
photographer in the aisles at Target, and gushed about what you saw, you might
be surprised to hear the response. I think 99.5% of photographers would say
that the real scene was 99.5% more beautiful than the photo. Have you ever
taken a picture of a beautiful beach scene, only to be disappointed by the
What we see, we cannot
What we capture on disc
never looks like what we see.
I know that we are only
human. We have limited verbal skills. We are imperfect photographers, straining
to capture the beauty that defies being assigned to one still frame. But I think the reason we are so
challenged, has less to do with our humanity, and more to do with our
When I look up at the night,
seeping and spreading across the sky, my eyes capture the wonder, but my soul does too. When I
try to photograph a perfect rose, my constant spirit is filled with joy to see
and experience that flower too.
Words and lenses belong to
the human part of us, we use them to explain and record the world. But what can
explain the movement that occurs in the soul? We struggle then, because we do not
have the capacity to express or reflect the wonder present there. Because our shining
soul is the house of God.
“Let all the earth keep
silence before him.” The prophet Habbakuk instructs the people to silence in
the Temple. Our temple is the soul. And we are silent there too; unable to
comprehend its holiness.
King David says: “…close
behind and close in front you fence me around, shielding me with your hand.
Such knowledge is beyond my understanding, a height to which my mind cannot
attain.” (Ps 139) We will never be able to perfectly explain or capture our view, because what our spirit experiences, absolutely defies description.
Steven Curtis Chapman has a
song that expresses this inability to speak in the presence of glory.
I say so many things, trying to figure
But as mercy opens my eyes, my words
are stolen away, with this breathtaking view of your grace.
We are speechless-so amazed.
We stand in awe of your mercy…
You have shown us a love that leaves us
May my soul speak its silent
language, while I stand in my silent awe.