By Anthony Casperson
The sun had yet to peek over the horizon. A swirl of pastel beckoned its arrival. Blue sky with pink and purple clouds.
I was in awe of the beauty before me, slowing my pace as I walked into work. Part of me wanted to take out my phone and snap a picture to capture the image. The rest of me didn’t want my co-workers to think that I was weird as I photographed the sky.
As I debated the choice in my head, a certain thought arose. There is no way that a camera—especially one attached to my phone—could hope to come near to replicating the beauty of this image. There might be a close approximation, at best, but even that wasn’t likely.
I would just have to enjoy the moment and appreciate the splendor for what it was at the time.
Even trying to describe the sight with words here doesn’t do justice to it. Flowery language though the first few sentences were, even they failed to capture the wondrous beauty of that morning sky.
I had experienced it, but that image was one that will forever remain uncapturable. It was something to be enjoyed and remembered, but known to be so amazing that nothing could contain it properly.
Certainly, similar moments of beauty will arise in my life (and hopefully have been seen in yours too), but the exact moment of that image of wonder will never be repeated. And maybe, if it could, that would diminish the beauty of both.
All of this introspection caused another thought in me as well. I don’t envy those biblical authors who saw an image of God. No wonder those moments (called theophanies) are filled with a strange combination of images. Burnished bronze, fire, light. Even a sword coming out of his mouth. He’s surrounded by glory and power and colors galore.
Those authors had to realize that their specific vision was so grand and magnificent that words would fail to describe the beauty of God. Let alone every other aspect of our awesome Creator.
Humanity cannot comprehend the fullness of God. And in our sinfulness, to come face to face with God would mean certain death. A beauty so holy that only holiness can face it. God told Moses as much when the man asked to witness God himself. It was only the wake of God that Moses could glimpse. The aftershock of godly glory. And even that sent the man’s face aglow for a time.
But if we think about it, that same uncapturable beauty has taken up residence alongside we followers of Jesus. The Holy Spirit given to all who call on the name of the Lord. Not captured, but willingly joined with us in an amazing relationship of beauty.
Often, I’ll try to give some call to action at the end of these blogs. But I’m not going to this time. I hope that in pointing to the beauty of God, we’ll take a moment to see as much of him as our finite human minds can stand.
It’s a moment to enjoy, even if we can’t capture it in words or images.