God's Finger Painting

Oh LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name
in all the earth!

I wish I were an artist!

My sister paints. My mother painted. My aunt even taught the craft to students at the University of Michigan. For my part, I am skilled with neither pencil or brush. Even my stick figures lack class. For some reason this apple fell far from the tree.

How far?

When someone says "canvas," I think tents. When I hear "palate," I think food. When painters talk about quality grades of oil, my mind races to fully synthetic 5W-30, the stuff I put in my Chevy.

Something tells me that's not what they are thinking . . .

Of course I am not a total lost cause. Give me some finger paints and a little room and I can create!

Twirling my fingers in a dollop of tempera may seem like kid's stuff to you, but I'm feeling pretty good about it after reading Psalm 8. Here's why. God, the Artist with no equal, is a finger painter:

O LORD, our Lord,

how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory above the heavens.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,

the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,

what is man that you are mindful of him,

and the son of man that you care for him?

Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings

and crowned him with glory and honor.

You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;

you have put all things under his feet,

all sheep and oxen,

and also the beasts of the field,

the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,

whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

O LORD, our Lord,

how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Psalm 8:1, 3-9 ESV

Great art displays the brilliance of its creator. While some works call for a casual glance or a thoughtful reflection, the true masterpieces arrest our attention. They beckon us and we return to them again and again to pause and wonder. Such is creation. God's "finger painting" evokes reverent awe.

Annie Dillard asks a question I suspect David might have asked contemplating a star-lit sky:

How many centuries would you have to live before this ... ceased to astound you?

When I consider the immensity of the canvas and how easily God's fingers fashioned the luminous gallery above I can only stand mouth agape and gasp,

Oh LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

What stops you in your tracks and causes you to give God praise?



"How man centuries ..." from For the Time Being, by Annie Dillard. Vintage Book. Page 34.