God’s Glory Found in Nature & Poetry

leaf_cropWhen the Old Testament speaks of God’s glory, it usually refers to a visible manifestation of God. For example, the stories of the tabernacle in Exodus or of Ezekiel’s vision of the temple, both expressing God’s intent to dwell among men.

But it’s also related to God’s self-disclosure to humanity. For example, the psalmist wrote, “The Heavens declare the glory of God” (19:1).

Recently, I’ve been reading poetry from the writings of Luci Shaw, a Christian poet who is currently the Writer in Residence at Regent College in Vancouver.

My favorite is “Reading Lesson” from her book Scape in The Poiema Poetry Series:

Reading Lesson

The Forest is a library of trees

whose books, in autumn, open

for our education to its pages,

leaves that turn and turn, under

the air’s inquiring fingers.

On the ground, light and shadow.

The maples drop their syllables until

the grass burns with words.

I pick up one, two, to take home.

Together they spell “Glory.”

Thinking of leaves that turn under “the air’s inquiring fingers” gets me every single time. There’s something truly lovely about poetry that is done well…poetry that captures deep emotions and puts metaphor to things not easily understood by finite humanity.