Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Illustration-a-day: People long for the majestic

The poet Gerald Manley Hopkins stated, “The world is charged with the grandeur of God.” That's true, but to experience that grandeur, you have to stop and look. This past weekend, my family went camping in Central Texas. On the way we had noticed a random spot on the highway where about a dozen cars were stopped on the side of the road. People lined a fence looking out into a rather ugly, uncultivated field with binoculars and large lensed cameras.

My wife asked if I knew what was going on. I'd seen a large nest in one of the trees and something sparked to life in the back of my mind. "I think that must be where the bald eagles nest. I read something about it in a magazine I think. But I'm not sure." We continued speeding on down the road filled with nothing but mild curiosity.

On the way back home, we noticed the cars again, and decided to stop. Just as we did a magnificent bald eagle took off from one tree and soared across the field, wings outstretched, its majestic white head gleaming in the spring sun. People cheered and cameras clicked. We all felt enriched by simply witnessing the grandeur of the moment. For me personally, mild curiosity had been replaced with the desire to offer praise to the Maker of eagles, spring days, and my own two eyes with which I had been able to take in such sights!

James Mays, an Old Testament scholar, explains that all people have a need for doxology, that is the need to be moved by the glory of another. Doxology is a fancy church word that simply means to speak praise. And as creatures, we were created with a built in desire to give praise. It's why we're drawn to stop and look, at eagles, and canyons, and any number of other spectacular sights. We yearn to be moved by the glory of another, but that can only happen if we pull over and take a look.

For pictures of the site on Hwy 29 between Burnett and Llano, click here.

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