experiments, instruments & measurement book

God Talk

8/15/14

By Susie Tessel

It’s summer, and this year has been a relatively mild one. The weather has been beautiful and even in New York, it seems that the tempo of everyday life has slowed. Part of the pleasure of the season is that this slower cadence provides greater opportunity for observation, for contemplation, for reflection. We can spend more time outside. And we are often lucky enough to see majestic views or tranquil scenes.

People see God in many different ways and in many different places. Some people see God’s artistry in a sunrise or sunset. Others see it in a rainbow or with the changing of the leaves. One of my favorite illustrations of how different people find God’s paintbrush took place in a cooking class. The chef was a jovial fellow with salt and pepper hair and he wore a white shirt and white apron. Before the class began, he was prepping the food for the class. As he sliced and diced, he was talking to me and another student. His hands were a whirlwind of activity. I was in awe. He chopped in a couple of minutes what would have taken me a good half hour to complete. But when he took a round purple onion and cut it in half, it stopped him cold. He was still for a moment. Stopped. He looked at it the onion, smiled, and held it up for my friend and me to see the rich vibrant purple exterior. Then he turned it to show us “the perfect alternating concentric circles of purple and white.” To our surprise, he then added thoughtfully, “I look at these circles and I know there is a God.”

My Dad saw God’s hands in flowers. Like peonies, with uncountable feathered petals, or blue and purple bearded irises with orange throats, or day lilies – in yellows, oranges and cremes. Some have ruffled petals, some have double and triple layers. Each is beautiful in its own way. Each is slightly different from the others of its own species. The constructs and permutation seem endless! My Dad bred and hybridized day lilies. He wanted to create a pure white day lily. He got very close to his goal before he passed away, and one is named for him- Irving Shulman. More than once he observed that God created in a blink of an eye what we can only imitate and copy but can never originate.

I see God’s handiwork where I least expect it – a wild turkey foraging in our yard, a heron gliding gracefully over the pond, an unusual flower or plant resplendent with vivid blossoms and dramatic shapes, and in the striations left on the beach of the sand from a retreating tide.
Where do you see God’s fingerprints in this world? Wherever it is, enjoy it! And share it with us!

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