Genesis 1:1-2 - In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters.
At the very beginning of the Bible, we have our foundational story of how all of this world came to be. Genesis is by no means the only human account of how it all started, but it is the one that informs Jews, Christians, and Muslims. For those of us living in Oklahoma, I think Genesis speaks directly to our intimate knowledge of wind. The words “while a wind from God swept over the face of the water” easily describe the vivid and real daily experience for us Okies.
Wind is mysterious, visible, and disruptive like God. When I first immigrated to Oklahoma, the wind was terribly disruptive to me. It often made me anxious. On the weather report I remember the meteorologist saying, “we will have gusts up to 70 mph”. Where I grew up we called that a hurricane! Yet, over time I adopted the Okie language to name and define the winds which sweep over the plains. Language not only names a reality, but also often how we experience reality.
As a person of faith, my life is shaped by the language of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament. The biblical language I use assumes a benevolent Creator who cares for all that is created out of the formless void. This biblical language is not universally adopted nor universally understood. Some refuse its validity and utility. Some find the biblical language of hope, forgiveness, and redemption as unrealistic.
I get that. In a world with love and hate, war and peace, wealth and poverty, kindness and violence, it is confounding. But when the wind blows, I am reminded there is always more to reality than I can ever understand or explain. Some days the world feels more hospitable, some days down right mean. But almost always, especially in Oklahoma, there is some wind blowing. And it makes me wonder and trust in so much that I cannot see or explain. Wind strengthens my trust in what I cannot see.
Is there anything in the natural world that changes or strengthens your biblical language? Your faith?
You spin matter and energy into life. You use words and wind to call us to co-create this world. Your breath, our words, change who we become and transform this world. Amen
Posted on Wed, May 18, 2016
by Micah James