Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Psalm 8 Moments.

There are good philosophical arguments against the idea that there is a God. I bumped into those in my philosophy classes in college.

Bright people have worked hard to construct solid reasons why the very idea of God seems far fetched. And there are several rather articulate atheists whose books are on the best seller lists right now.

I know that.

And then there are moments like the last two mornings. If you've been up early enough, you have seen a full moon in the sky. It's been breath-taking.

When I went out to get the morning papers at 5:30 yesterday morning, I looked up and the beauty over my head stopped me in my tracks. I stood there flat-footed with amazement. A few minutes later I was in the car, heading west and south, and the moon continued to move towards the west. Glowing with the sun's light. Reflecting the light from the sun back down on these prairie fields of early Spring.

I am not good at memorizing scripture. Standing there with the newspapers in my hands, and then later driving down the road, the words of Psalm 8 did come to mind: When I look at the sky, which you have made, at the moon and the stars, which you set in their places- what are human beings, that you think of them; mere mortals, that you care for them?

Later that morning, in Franklin, Indiana, I sat with two good friends at the funeral service for the mother of another buddy. The woman had died after years of being a near invalid, but she had lived with joy. "Help people as you can," was her favorite phrase. From the stories I heard not only was Dave's Mom a woman of deep faith who loved her family but she loved strangers. She had a way of listening to people that they recognized as a great gift. And she had a wicked, delightful, Irish-tinted sense of humor.

Where does the beauty and the goodness in the world come from? The stars and the moon above our heads in the stillness of an early Spring morning. Or the life of a woman who had every reason to pull in, retreat into self-pity, but who continued to love, give and listen. Where does it all come from?

I know there are all sorts of reasons people give for doubting the existence of God. But I think the moon and stars above my head, and one woman's life well lived, say something else.