A bird built its nest in the small outside speaker on our patio. It gathered twigs, grass and what I suspect were pieces of our front door wreath to create its humble abode. Not a bad piece of real estate if you ask me—quality furnishings with an upgraded sound system. Right there on the back patio, amid an industrial sized grill, and recently purchased outdoor furniture, is a piece, a tiny-but-significant piece, of the divine. Here, nature meets convenience. Modern evidences collide with ancient design. And my faith is fortified. My belief is intensified. Not by the grill. Not by the comfortable lounge chairs. But by the intricate architecture of a misplaced bird’s nest.
I have never witnessed or been a part of a miracle. No body of water near my house has ever been parted. No lost loved one has ever been raised from the dead. No barbeque fixings have ever been multiplied when it seemed we were running out. And no voice has ever come from my fire pit saying my name and telling me my backyard is holy ground. Not once.
But there is this beautiful bird’s nest residing in the little speaker out back. And there is what resembles a colony of fireflies that appears, disappears and reappears, twinkling in the field behind a neighboring fence when day drops its curtain and dusk settles. And there is an actual opus performed by an invisible orchestra of crickets when only moonlight and starlight flood the streets and grass. And there is the smell of rain—before it’s actual arrival, before the first drop. Before the first cloud, there is a tangible and resounding smell of rain, the smell of a thirsty earth awaiting nourishment. In the expectation of summer’s arrival and the melancholy parting of spring, I happen across the miraculous often. I intersect the supernatural. I am caught up in the spiritual and mystical arrangement of an evolving and harmonizing creation.
I am wooed by the ordinary and courted by the mundane.
I exist in a world that still appears shrouded in much mystery and speculation. There is a great deal my mind cannot grasp and will not understand. There are laws of physics, laws of energy, laws of motion, laws of relativity. And I don’t understand any of them. Not one. But in their existence, in their confident and mysterious commands I find reinforcement for my belief.
I am sure someone knows why the bird in my back yard can make a fortress for a nest. I know there is an explanation for the glowing body of a firefly; I am certain there is reason for the string-like melody a cricket’s legs make when rubbed together; I believe there is a purpose for the heralding fragrance of rain before its actual appearance. And in the laws and the details, the science and the logic, I become a more fervent believer in Christ.
I don’t need a miracle. In fact, I don’t think any of us do. I need order, and I need logic, because I believe that underlying all of the rules and regulations of nature, is the miracle of a Creator God who made it happen, who authored the laws and penned the principles this world functions on. That is my proof. Not in the grandiose bending and rewriting of nature’s laws. But, in the progression and succession of those laws is the divine. It is in the sunrise and the sunset. It is in the seasons. It is in the orbiting moon and rotating earth that gives me cause for faith. It is in witnessing a world that survives and thrives on an order, an order ordained and sustained by God. What an incredible picture of authority, and we exist in the middle of it—of a created world that knows and obeys its personal Creator.
I am not surprised that we serve a God who has married mystery with maxims—ambiguity with doctrine. So often, with God, it is both. There is room for all of us—for the skeptics and the believers, the scientists and the mystics. Wherever we happen to fall on the spectrum, I have come to understand and appreciate that we serve a God who hovers above the spectrum altogether.
Never before have I found more reason and more appeal in the authority and reign of triune God. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God. In the beginning the Word was spoken, a created world came to be, and the Word put into place the laws of nature. Laws that a broken world still obeys, still succumbs to and surrenders to, in dazzling praise.
There is evidence of a God in charge everywhere we look. Get lost in the beauty we so often take for granted and see it as God intends us to it: a visible reminder that he has things taken care of, that he is in control, and that he loves.
Sit outside tonight. See if you notice a mother bird nesting with a stray piece of my front door wreath in her mouth. Watch for the rhythmic dance of a firefly’s radiating body. Listen for the soundtrack of a cricket’s cadence in his pulsating legs. Breathe deep in effort to smell an anxious earth, eager for refreshment. Pause, and then praise the God who spoke and made it so, who each morning and then evening, gently urges His world forward in perfect synchronization and admiration, drawing a rotating earth back to Himself.
Find reason; find hope; find assurance in knowing we serve a God full of mystique and order, accessibility and authority. His power and His position is a comfort. It is a testimony to His love. It is the very reason some of us have chosen to believe. It is the law of mystery and the Gospel of God.