By Rev. Debra Jene Collum
Chatfield United Methodist and Commissioned EarthKeeper of the UMC
There are some things that are incomprehensible to me. Like the fact that helium is in short supply because there isn’t more helium that can be made. Isn’t helium just air that makes us talk funny and keep our balloons inflated? Can’t you just make it from regular air? Somehow? You know by rearranging atoms, or something?
And if it is so precious then why can I buy it at the dollar store? Should I feel guilty because I love balloons?
See, life is incomprehensible sometimes.
And what about water. Why are we in such a terrible drought right now? My gardens look so sad and thirsty. But if there is all the water we will ever have on earth right now, which is what scientists say if true, why isn’t it better distributed? Why are parts of the Earth desert and other parts rain forests? Why does the rain keep passing my garden? And our farmers’ fields?
I don’t understand this water distribution system we live with.
Incomprehensible, there are so many things that are incomprehensible in this world of ours. The number of stars in the sky, the way grass turns into milk, birds flying south at just the right time, the death of a young father… Incomprehensible.
But the most incomprehensible thing to me is that we all just keep living our lives without feeling the need to always understand and know everything. Some live in a state of blissful ignorance more than others, but we all do; even the smartest of us. And we do it well.
We bring balloons to parties. We pray for rain and we do what we can to preserve water. (It has been so good not to see persistent lawn watering this summer). We look to the skies and appreciate the birds telling us to get ready for winter. We drink our milk with thanksgiving. And we show up at mourner’s doorsteps with food. We don’t let incomprehension keep us from living a good life. If this isn’t a miracle, well what would you call it?
We live with the miraculous all around us, without seeing it for what it is. Until one day, we do see it. It is as if our eyes have become the eyes of God. The Psalmist writes that “God knows all the stars in the universe and calls them by name.” Once in a while, we get to see the numbers of these stars, we get to see with the eyes of God. Once in a while. Then, for just a moment, the incomprehensible doesn’t become knowable, but it does become sacred. And the Kindom of God enters our life.