What Have We Here?
Water, solid on twigs,
liquid in the lake;
both places below 32°.
Two cold places.
Equally beautiful, one in motion
one still, a motionless twig and branch skin.
Icicles take time,
a liquid droplet on liquid droplet.
What have we here?
The time of solid and liquid.
Visible signs of the breath of God.
“The breath of God produces ice, and the broad waters become frozen.” Job 37:10
Think with me about the word “boast.” To boast is to brag, to show off or “sing your own praises.” Boasting is human. We do it to improve our view of self. We do it to feel important. We boast and momentarily feel better.
What are the usual boast-worthy topics? How smart we or someone in our family is? We boast in great physical strength. And, we boast in our riches, our possessions.
But boasting is an empty pastime when the boast is about self. Boasting is a dead-end.
There is one topic, actually a relationship we can boast of; knowing and understanding God. Boast of the One who creates the ice that forms this time of year. Boast of the One who can change liquid water to a solid, overnight. Boast of the One who creates beauty which takes our breath. Boast that God delights in providing kindness, justice and righteousness.
Boast of the Only One who removes all our sin. God alone is boast worthy.
It’s not my idea, read Jeremiah 9:23-24.
What have we here?
Turdus migratorius (Latin)
Turdidae are thrushes.
This one a Robin, a thrush that is…
a migratory bird. (migratorius)
6 of 10 things it eats are
Robins are “frugivorous,”
they eat fruit.
Robins are common.
We know their song, their color, their size.
They mark the change of season…winter to spring and fall to winter.
Robins “know” migration.
The why and the when.
Why? Consider this answer from the Bible, the book of Jeremiah. Just a warning-there is a surprise at the end. “This is what the Lord says…even the stork in the sky knows her appointed seasons, and the dove the swift and the thrush observe the time of their migration. But my people do not know the requirements of the Lord.”
Does migration work for these birds? We know the answer. Migration is appointed-by God. Following the appointed times directed by God works each season for migratory birds.
What if we followed what God has appointed? It works for birds. What if we knew the “requirements of the Lord?” Would it be better than good? In a word, absolutely. How do we know the requirements of the Lord? In two words, the Bible.
What is color? Call it a property possessed by an object to produce different sensations on the eye as a result of the way the object reflects or emits light. Color has hue, tint, shade, pigment, and shade.
What is beauty? We explain it as a combination of qualities, such as shape, color, or form, which please our senses, especially sight. Beauty is loveliness, pretty, exquisite, gorgeous, splendor, or magnificence.
How do we know the color of something? Our eyes tell us. How do we determine if something is beautiful? Our eyes relay color and form, it is the heart which determines beauty.
The components of determining color and beauty are human eye and heart. What is the origin of the human eye?
To answer this question, let’s examine the eye. There are 4 distinct parts to the front and outside of the eye. The iris gives our eyes color. The cornea is a clear dome over the iris. The pupil is the circular opening in the iris, it lets light into the eye. The white of the eye is called the sclera, it covers the entire eye except the cornea and protects it. Light next passes through the lens attached top and bottom by two post-like parts of the eye called cilia. After passing through the lens light enters the vitreous body of the eye (which keeps its round shape) and continues to the back of the eye where the retina, macula, optic disk and optic nerve are found.
Since the front of the eye is curved, the beauty and colors we see are projected upside down on the retina. In the retina there are 7 million rods and from 75 to 150 million rods that receive the light. Minimally 150 million receptors “process” the image to fit into the 1 million optic nerve fibers. When they transfer the image to the brain, the brain turns it right side up. How does that work?
We will only mention the eye is protected by bone in the special hollow for each eye called the eye-socket. We will only mention that the eye is moved in the socket by 6 muscles which are synchronized to direct movement, and in this movement, both eyes work in tandem. There is much more.
Every function of the human eye is an intricately orchestrated system of tissue, nerves, blood, and cells designed to turn light into images our brain can name. It’s red, scarlet, orange, yellow, green. We call it fall. We say, “Beautiful.” The color, and beauty of fall are gifts from God. That we have sight to see in this season is also a gift from God.
What is the origin of beauty? God. Only God can make the human heart to thrill at the color and beauty of fall. These gifts from God: color, sight and beauty combine to swell our hearts in thanksgiving to God who gives them freely to each of us. This truth makes colors and beauty of fall brighter and even more spectacular.
What have we here?
A tree-dwelling rodent?
A life span of 2-6 years? Usually.
A total weight of slightly more than one pound? Approximately.
Is it common? Everywhere.
Do we have a natural forest re-generator? Yes, forest regeneration is a bi-product of squirrel life. It holds a walnut in its paws. Moments earlier it was buried in our flower box.
Who regenerates the forest re-generator? The same One who regenerates you and me from our sin…Jesus. The words of Romans 5:18 confirm it.