God’s Amazing Artwork
Over six hundred years ago the Italian author and poet, Dante Alighieri, said “nature is the art of God.” I would be the first to affirm Dante’s sentiment but recently I have been reminded of just how outstanding God’s art revealed in nature is. The last few days I have been working on scanning slides I took during my first fifteen years of photography. Last night I worked on some images I captured at Arizona’s famous Coyote Buttes. Looking at these pictures I found myself once again in awe of the Master Artist’s work. The sandstone formations and patterns found at Coyote Buttes are mindboggling!
Looking at the images made me stop and think about all the wonderful “art work” I’ve seen in nature. I thought about the beauty and symmetry found on a dewy spider web. I remembered being overwhelmed by the colors and patterns in petrified logs I saw at Petrified Forest National Park. I thought about the intricate detail and beauty I’ve seen when I’ve looked closely at seashells, flowers and insects. I remembered with great delight the first time I saw the dancing patterns of the northern lights in Alaska. All of this led me to think about God’s artwork that few people ever get to see. Through the lens of a microscope one can find incredible beauty. At the same time, the Hubble Telescope is constantly sending back images of galaxies and nebula that look like great works of art. The universe is filled with beauty that few, if any, will ever see!
When I was quite a bit younger Ray Stevens had a hit song that declared “Everything is beautiful in its own way.” That the world is filled with much beauty simply cannot be denied. I know some say “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” but for each beholder there is plenty of beauty to see and acknowledge. As we recognize and enjoy the beauty we see we should offer thanks to the Artist who created it. The wise writer of Ecclesiastes wrote concerning God, “He has made everything beautiful in its time.” (3:11) There is certainly nothing wrong with pointing to the beauty we see around us but let us not fail to give credit where credit is due. God deserves to be worshiped and praised for sharing His art with us.
When I was in New Mexico a couple of months ago I visited the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. I enjoyed looking at her wonderful work but was amazed at how many security personnel were on hand. It was obvious that the museum recognizes the value of O’Keeffe’s work and is determined to protect it. I concur that her work is valuable but nowhere nearly as valuable as that produced by our heavenly Father. For that reason we need to do everything we can to preserve and protect the works of the greatest Artist there is. Wouldn’t you agree?
(I took the top two pictures at Coyote Buttes in Arizona. The spider web was photographed in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The petrified log was photgraphed at Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona.)