And God said, “Let there be LIGHT, piercing, blinding, light. Light so dazzling that it stops you in your tracks. Light so demanding that it brings you to confession. Light so blistering that there is nowhere it cannot penetrate nor nothing that can stand in its presence that is itself not light. Let there be fierce illumination that examines and undoes, that exposes and calls out. Let there be such wild, untamed light that keeps pressing, like a biting wind, into every place that longs to remain hidden. Let there be such light that leaves its witness bare before it until all that is shadow is bathed in the cleansing and the healing of the Light that is Life.” And God saw that this light, this Holy light, was good, and He separated out that which could stand in the full gaze of this light from that which could not and He called this light “day,” and the darkness that cowers and obfuscates and shifts and obscures and works malice, He called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.
And God said, “Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water. Let there be such a SKY that keeps the waters of heaven separate from the waters of earth. Let there be a sky that fills men’s dreams and offers a canopy to their heads. Let there be such a sky that may pour forth the waters of heaven when the dust of earth becomes too dry and brittle, and when the hopes of men become dry and brittle may they look up to this sky and see the sheet, translucent as indigo glass, and know that there, my waters are for cleansing and restoring and renewing. May this sky be their window unto Me.” So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so. And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.
And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear. Let there be vast SEAS where mankind may experience first hand My mighty power. Where they may try themselves against squalls and tempests. Where Greek warriors may learn to become fathers and madmen may chase whales. Let there be oceans of unfathomable depths that mankind might get but a glimpse of how wild and unruly and deep and wide is My love for them. And let there be LAND that may produce seeds so that mankind may know that from the smallest of beginnings even the mighty oak tree soars. May there be land that produces roses and vineyards, mountains and deserts, and may there be lush green carpets of rich savannah and forests whose lumber produces homes for shelter and tables for meals and one day, perhaps, even timber for a cross.” And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.
And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night. Let there be a fiery, golden orb that brings heat and light by day and a silver globe capable of pulling at the sea so that mankind may know that, though there is darkness, I am still at work. May the SUN shine down and warm the faces of little girls making wishes upon daisies, and may the MOON ever rise in circle or crescent enough to keep watch over mothers singing lullabies to their children on a cold winter’s night. And may there be STARS in the sky too numerous to count that I might prove myself capable of brining life to even the most barren places. May these stars dazzle, night after night, until one night, one such star may guide all mankind to an inn where home and hope and life are at last born.” And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.
And God said, “Let the water and the sky teem with LIFE! Let there be such life that the whole encyclopedias of the world cannot name them all! Let there be life that splashes and soars and dives and leaps! Let there be the mighty eagle and the timid guppy. Let there by the swooping warbler and the slow-to-anger blue whale. Let there be the spotted owl and the shiny gulper eel. Let there be the articulate robin and the clumsy mollusk. And let this LIFE beget even more LIFE, each as unique and original and artistic as before. Let this life increase in number so that the skies and the seas may abound with the handiwork of One who delights in every fin and every feather!” And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, each, one by one, by name, with the smile of a Father pleased and proud. And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.
And God, delighted at the work of the day before, turned His eye toward the land and said, “Land, produce living creatures like your sisters the sea and the sky; creatures according to your kind: cattle that low and graze on your wide open plains, the snotty elephant, the baritone toad, and the half-crazed beagle. Land, produce life that it may tromp and plod and burrow and leap over your fields and upon your crags and through your moors. Produce such life that those who look upon it cannot help but scratch their heads at the absurdity and the profundity of it all! Let there be such life that no one who looks upon the vastness of it all can claim that there was not laughter and love behind every wagging tail and every prickly hide!” And God, roaring and shaking with merriment at the waddling hippopotamus and the majestic duck-billed platypus, saw that it was good. Good, but not finished.
For then, while gazing upon the roiling seas and the thunderous winds and the savage wilds, God turned inward and sat silent for the space of an eternity before saying, “Now, let us do the absurd, the unthinkable. Let us add to this collection one more creature, so much like us that it will wound our heart to the quick and yet so full of our divine presence that we cannot help but run bare-legged and knock-kneed when it calls; indeed, let us create a creature so foolish and weak and hackneyed that we cannot help but love it with every drop of blood in us. Let us create something so vulgar, so feeble, and yet so noble, that, though it cannot help but stumble, it also cannot help being called our Son, our Daughter. Let us make such a thing (really, such a pair of things) whose very nature resembles ours in its gentle strength, in its humble virtue, that, should it decide to do so, it may transcend the very stuff of earth and take its place as rightful LORDS and LADIES of all. Let us make mankind in Our image: paradoxically sacrificial, noble in humility, wise in love.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; MALE and FEMALE he created them, and blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule as I rule: in love, in grace, holding ever so tightly to this great vision of shalom that all can and will and should be as it is and is to come.”
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.
- Into the Wasteland (Genesis 1:1-2) (scottamartin.org)