“It is possible that God says every morning, ‘Do it again’ to the sun; and every evening, ‘Do it again’ to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them…The repetition in Nature may not be a mere recurrence; it may be a theatrical ENCORE!” —G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy
I’m intrigued by the idea that God is still creating the world and everything in it. As a child delights in seeing a thing done again and again, God delights in the repetition and “monotony” of creation every day. It’s possible that every new emergence—every blade of grass, every butterfly, every blossom, every billowing cloud—is a new and special creation invented out of God’s wisdom, excitement and artistry.
He paints each pansy as it emerges in the spring, he colors every leaf in the fall. He ponders every act of creation, shouts “Encore!” and the whole business begins all over again, the business of creation that began “in the beginning,” and is still going on to this day.
Thus it follows that every human conception is a new creation. God says, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness”—and a human life springs into being! We think of the process as purely natural: we conceive a child and it grows to term on its own. In truth it is preternatural—creatio ex nihilo as theologians say; the creation of matter and spirit out of nothing.
Chesterton suggested the idea of on–going creation to me, but David, Israel’s poet, convinced me, for he describes God first “musing” and then “weaving” David together in the darkness of his mother’s womb. He did so, David insists, “before one of them (the various elements that became ‘David’) came to into being” (Psalm 139:13–16).
In other words, God created David out of nothing. No, he created David out of himself. He imagined what David was to be, and then brought him into being according to a pre–imagined plan. [The Hebrew text reads, “Your eyes saw my unformed substance and in your book they (David’s “component parts”) were written day by day before there was one of them.” The metaphor is that of a “journal” in which God wrote his ideas of what David would become and then brought each idea into being through his handiwork in the womb.]
Put another way, we begin as a gleam in our Father’s eye and are shaped by Love into unique, immediate creations—immediate in the ordinary sense of “unmediated,” in that we come directly from the inventive heart and hand of God. We are loved into existence; we are God’s planned and wanted children.
That means that I am special and so are you—and so is everyone else in the world. This being true I must be “pro–life” in the purest sense of the word in that I sanctify all human life1—Stanford University sophisticates and untutored semi–illiterates; Seattle socialites and skid–row derelicts, winsome children and doddering old curmudgeons, fundamentalist preachers and left–wing political pundits, anti–abortion enthusiasts and pro–choice activists. All persons–all classes, ages, sexes, and races–are unique productions of our Creator’s genius.
1 The Bible supports the sanctity of human life, not life in general for it is human beings alone that are created in the image and likeness of God, i.e., more like God than any other creature.
Which is why Jesus said we should never call anyone a “fool (worthless).”
Written By David Roper
Picture By Gunnar Simonsen