In my own pilgrimage, I have had to look beyond church walls in order to find God. Growing up in Southern fundamentalism, my search for God was blocked by racism and fear and judgment. In the beautiful, orderly world of nature I first saw glimpses of a Creator who has lavished on us a good and grace-filled world. As I began to believe, I found rumors of transcendence-the footprints of God-in places I had never before thought of looking. Theologian John S. Dunne tells of a group of early Spanish sailors who reached the continent of South America after an arduous voyage. Their caravels sailed into the headwaters of the Amazon, an expanse of water so wide the sailors presumed it to be a continuation of the Atlantic Ocean. It never occurred to them to drink the water, since they expected it to be saline, and as a result some of these sailors died of thirst. That scene of men dying of thirst even as their ships floated on the world's largest source of freshwater has become for me a metaphor for our age. Some people starve to death spiritually while all around them manna rots... We tend to see what we are looking for. At the time the microscope was first invented, scientists believed that sperms were little embryos, with the woman serving as an incubator. Peering through the early microscopes, they saw and drew those embryos, homunculi or 'little men'. They saw what they expected to see. Similarly, when the great astronomer Percival Lowell got a new twenty-four-inch telescope on a mountain in Flagstaff, Arizona, he 'saw' a network of canals on Mars that confirmed the theories of Italian astronomers. He mapped them on a glove, and his 1908 book Mars As The Abode Of Life laid out proof that these canals were built by intelligent beings. Sometimes, like Lowell, we see things that aren't really there and sometimes, like the Spanish sailors, we fail to notice the very element we're floating in. In the world of faith, particularly, some things have to be believed to be seen.
- Type: Hardcover (Revised)
- Category: Books > Inspirational
- ISBN / UPC: 9780385513098/0385513097
- Publish Date: 3/1/2005
- Item No: 30477
- Vendor: Random House Inc.