Small Things

DiffView-9I am in Maine right now helping my parents move into assisted living. I have taken a camera (of course) and shot a few images, but I haven’t had much time to do much (although I did get up at dawn yesterday for a great sunrise — Chuck, you just don’t know how much you miss in that fresh time of day).

On the plane to Maine, I read some essays by Wendell Berry that Chuck had shared with me, Christianity and the Survival of Creation and God and Country. Chuck is a big fan of Berry. These essays are very thoughtful and even thought-provoking for anyone thinking about God and nature. He says something that hits home for me, “What about the things [of nature] that are outside the human economy? What about the things that from the point of view of human need are useless or only partly usable?”

What about those things? What about a small grasshopper in a prickly pear cactus in a huge field outside of Moab, Utah, as seen in this photograph? The grasshopper is a very small part of the image — you might have to look for it. Yet, that is exactly as this creature lives, a small creature in a big world of cactus.

Berry supports the idea that such creatures are indeed important to God, and therefore, we need to see them as important, too. He quotes Revelation 4:11, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure, they are and were created.”

I love photographing the little things, like grasshoppers, even when I am in a big place, like Arches National Park outside of Moab, too. I think they are fascinating to observe and also important, and perhaps, a sign of how we treat the “least” of God’s creations reflects on how we see all of God’s creation.

— Rob