Perfectly round and perfectly orange, the sun crept toward the sound, hidden momentarily by a streak of gray cloud. Marveling at how a perfect sunset could be so different from the last perfect sunset, I continued down the hill, eyes on the streaks of orange and pink and yellow in the sky.
“Turn around and look up,” my husband’s voice broke into my reverie.
Eyes unwilling to turn from magnificence, they hesitated as I turned and then darted back and forth for a moment, uncertain where to look. But then my full attention turned to see the translucent white half moon against a brilliant Carolina blue, framed above by traces of wispy cirrus and below by a cottony cumulus ball.
Overwhelmed, I turned in a circle, reluctant to miss either the setting sun or the ascendant moon. Finally, I turned from the moon to the horizon, the silence disturbed only by the click of my husband’s Nikon.
I pondered the largeness and the limitations of the human brain to comprehend a world that is often bigger than our understanding. And I wondered again about a news article I read last week. According to the writer, 46% of us find it impossible to reconcile a Creator with a science that has given us an incomplete but rational understanding of a world so complex that no two sunsets evolve in quite the same way.
I wonder how that happened. I grew up in evangelical churches, but not once in twenty years in three different denominations did I ever hear a preacher question the scientific principles our teachers taught. Not once did I ever hear a demand that the creation story be taught alongside them. And while they were strident about the basic tenets of their faith, they were not threatened by a science that tried to explain the specifics of how God created this intricate and majestic world that defies our ability to fully understand it.
And when I behold a sunset that can never quite be captured in the lens of a photographer’s camera, I find it impossible to box God in to seven days at the beginning of time. That our Creator could shape creatures so complex that they could adapt to their environment and change over time does not diminish an infinite and divine power.
So what about you? What is it in this world that helps you believe not in either/or but a God who is both/and?