The Sacredness of God's Handiwork

Henri Nouwen writes:

How do we live in creation? Do we relate to it as a place full of “things” we can use for whatever need we want to fulfill and whatever goal we wish to accomplish? Or do we see creation first of all as a sacramental reality, a sacred space where God reveals to us the immense beauty of the Divine?

As long as we only use creation, we cannot recognise its sacredness because we are approaching it as if we are its owners. But when we relate to all that surrounds us as created by the same God who created us and as the place where God appears to us and calls us to worship and adoration, then we are able to recognise the sacred quality of all God’s handiwork.

One of the things I regret about becoming so busy is that it has taken away the time I need to enjoy God’s creation.  I haven’t done any photography of anything for weeks.  I haven’t gone for a walk for weeks.  I pass through God’s creation without being able to take the time I need to “recognise its sacredness” and so I miss out on the presence of God in it and on the way he communicates with me when I am present to him in it.

So, I resolve to take some time today, in the misty rain, to notice God’s presence around me.


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  1. Reading this, I thought you might enjoy this quote from Robinson’s Common Grace

    “The Gospel paradox…goes like this: ‘You’re too busy? Here’s what you do. Take a day off, a full day, one full day each week, completely away from work. For one day a week do nothing, nothing but dream, pray, and rest. Take naps, make love, go for a walk. Lie on your back and look at the clouds. It is the only way to have enough time…

    “Without a complete day devoted once a week to doing nothing, you will become lost and confused. You will think it is you who made the heavens and the earth and that everything depends on you…”

    I am trying to do this more, especially in and around creation, as you say. It is especially healing to the soul.