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When Chemistry became Biology

What are we made of?

night sky

photo by Michael Halloran

the stuff of stars
the elements of the periodic table
concocted of chemicals that explode,
ions that interact,
molecules that relate.

We are the stuff of life.
No more, no less
and yet.

Yet,
we think, and move
and have our being.

Somehow we animated,
went from sketch to living color.
Our chemistry became biology,
we moved from dead in our tracks
to alive and well.

Well, not so well.

Our chemistry is faulty, we say,
prone to pesticides and processed to pieces.
Our environment does us in, we say,
nothing to be done about the ways of the world.
Our bodies betray us, we say,
resenting the long hours and little pay.

Who would fault us for losing hope in them?

Except,
the One who made us,
who imagined our being.

The chemist who
connected our elements,
shaped our molecules,
formulated our reactions,
exploded our contents.

This One,
the only one present when
our chemistry became our biology.

When we came to life.

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Welcome Warmth

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It is amazing how nature’s handiwork can be so diverse.

Hardly could it be dealt by the same hand.

Certainly no human hand.

Hold us close.

Keep us warm and bring us safely back to you.

Why Invest in Something Temporary?

Why spend so much time and energy on something so temporary?

This was my thought as I strolled the beach past dozens of children who were completely satisfied to construct castles, sand piles, and forts. To write their names, dig out trenches, and fill moats only to have them washed away in an instant. Yet, as soon as the wave receded they began again.  So why? …Why invest so much in something so temporary?

And I could ask of God the same…Why invest so much in us, something so temporary?

I look around at the incredible diversity in people. Shapes, sizes, colors, ages, races. And the Lord only knows how different they are on the insides. literally. No time – saving repeats there. And yet, we are but a whisper in the all of time. A moment and then washed away by the waves. Why invest so much in us?

I can’t even begin to know the mind of the Creator in this. But what is promised is that we are created in his image. Perhaps in the image of one who is always creating, constantly crafting, shaping and re-shaping. Perhaps as those children who seem perfectly content to begin again. The last masterpiece not lost, the components are all still there in front of them, waiting to take a new shape in their hands.

My difficulty I think is that I want to hold on. I want something that will last. Just as I want to “capture” the sunrise in a photo so I can share it with others and keep it forever. Children revel in the making. They love the motion of making, the texture of the raw materials. They are not invested in the product, just in the doing. They might look up if I pointed out the sunrise but then return to the business of busy.

Funny how busy has gotten such a bad rap among us adults. Perhaps if we were satisfied with the temporary, if we could find peace in the notion that whatever we “accomplished” was meant as raw material for the permanent ahead, we might even see our lives as absolutely worth the painstaking detail. Even in the face of a world which relentlessly asks, “What do you have to show for yourself?”

Perhaps ours is to discover our image in the Creator’s constancy, in the midst of our divine design under continuous assault by the waves of life. And He is as the child, patiently re-crafting. After all, even the wind and the waves obey Him. The work must be worth it to Him.

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