By Aaron Elder
It was 6:15 am on a Monday. My three year old is my typical early morning companion and this morning was no different. Her first daily request (banana) had been devoured and her second (oatmeal) was warm and ready. But she wasn’t. She climbed down from her chair, walked over to me, looked up and said “uppy daddy.” I lifted her up and as I did, it registered that I had more time than usual this morning. Instead of carrying her somewhere to accomplish the next task, I just stood there holding her. She offered no instructions, content to be held.
A sort of rest started to settle in. Then just as quickly, the desire to make this into some magic moment came in with the grace of a bull in a china shop. I tried to make the moment and in a flash the moment was over. She wanted to play in her bed with me in the room and so I sat and read Psalm 19. “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech… They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world” (vv. 1-2a, 3-4a).
I’m apt to read these words and add them to my proof-text stockpile. But my brief “uppy daddy” moment made me curious. To this point in my life, I’ve not really taken to nature. I think it’s the fact that it doesn’t really do anything. My wife loves being outdoors and I keep waiting for that magical outdoor moment. If you were to ask me, “Aaron, what exactly are you waiting for?” I’d likely respond by saying, “I’m really not sure.”
I have been lured into the desire to be entertained and to feel good at all times. It’s a bit like a china shop in that it requires constant anxious attention to maintain its perceived grandeur. At the same time, there is nature, doing nothing – day after day. While it is doing nothing it is speaking. When I dare to listen it lets loose a bull in my china shop. I watch in horror as every piece falls to the ground, then soon become bewildered as nothing actually breaks. When the bull is finished, I, on hands and knees, carefully study each dish and find this marking on the bottom of each: “Corelle.”
I’m devastated that it isn’t china because outside of the thrift store there isn’t a market for Corelle. My world has turned completely upside down and, at that moment, there’s not much to say. When I’m done speaking and I’m done doing, then maybe I’ve got something.