Today I came across National Geographic’s Pictures We Love for the month of April. Living up to Nat Geo’s standards, they’re beautiful but also tell a lot of stories. Taken as a whole, it’s wild to work through this slideshow and consider everything that is going on all over the earth right now. Here’s a sampling…
That’s no painting — an exhibitor at the UK’s Harrogate Spring flower show is dusting off one of the daffodils. On the plus side, the show raises money for horticulture charities. But it is amazing to me how far the human race goes when it comes to perfecting skill/art, even when it comes to raising (or dusting off) a simple and short-lived plant. Even when persons elsewhere are spending all their energies just to survive…
…like these. The description: “A homeless family sleeps under an overpass in New Delhi, India, on April 25, 2012. The most recent government census of India’s urban homeless, completed in 2001, estimated that they number in excess of 778,599. With 1.2 billion people already, India is expected to reach 1.6 billion by 2050—and to overtake China as the world’s most populous country by 2030.” The photo is convicting for me, especially because the family seems to be so normal, so at-home in their surroundings. How can that be? Because they are in touch with a deep gratitude that the affluent never know? Because home/family/love can be made anywhere? Because they are resigned to the struggle that they share with such an overwhelming number of their countrymen? Lord, please bless your children, and live in me that I might spend my whole self in your service to them.
If it isn’t flowers we pour ourselves into, how about the pursuit of sport and physical prowess? While so many on earth are underfed and unclothed, others consume pristine diets (if not also performance-enhancers) and wear perfectly tailored, technology-infused apparel, to chase after precious-metal Olympic medallions by spending a life honing the ability to run, jump, or throw a certain way. And others of us pay, in total, millions of dollars to watch them.
And let’s not leave out the fact that, for all our ant-like activity all over her surface, the earth itself is alive and moving and terrible but awesome. There are such huge forces under our feet, or over our heads, in the heavens and seas. It is bonkers to think about what is going on everywhere, today, right now.
It’s overwhelming to think about what the hearts of men and women, adults and children, are experiencing today; I wonder for all the ways that God is moving in this midst, redeeming and transforming and dwelling with us. Let’s not be fooled into thinking life or people or the earth are ever mundane, or insignificant.
I say: come, Lord Jesus, and reign in me, and hurry the coming of the fullness of your kingdom.