The sermon today was from Hebrews 7 and 8, which say that the tabernacle and the sacrificial system and the law and the old covenant were but a shadow and a copy of what is real. To explain to us what we cannot see, to reveal our hidden hearts and unveil the loftiest and most invisible sanctuary of heaven, God painted us a picture. He sang us a song. He wafted incense and let us watch the blood drain from innocent lambs.
This is the God who speaks our language. He teaches us in human terms.
I spent all my high school years trying confusedly to prove that art and beauty were necessary. I needed them to be necessary, because they were the only things that enabled me to make sense of life and they were the only things that held out the promise of something better. In fact, I went to college in the vain hope that there I would find the final proof, the answers to my questions.
But I lost those old lovely dreams--partly for the good reason that they were my idols. I didn't have a real god, so I had to worship those. The path I followed when all those gods tumbled down is a story in itself. My point here is to say that when, out of the nothingness, God spoke, I started over with only Him. But He, I soon learned, also contained those other things.
I am beauty, He said, as I watched the Atlantic Ocean touch the rocks by the Bar Harbor Shore Path last June. I am truth, He's been insisting, as I revel in the hard clarity of reality: renewed health, the ability to wash dishes, the draining challenges of family life, the ever unknown future. I tell stories--that's what I heard today, and it elated me. I feel like I've been handed back something I thought I'd never see again, and now I know the true value of it.