Tuesday, November 21, 2006

God's Grandeur on the Bay

If you have read my wife's blog you know that our baby is stubbornly modest. So modest in fact that it has chosen not to reveal, just yet, whether or not it is male or female. At one point during the ultrasound we had a clear picture on the screen of two leg bones forming a perfect "X" over the part of the body that held the most interest for us. But, the little one is healthy and doing well. I will get back you when we have more information.

I was thinking today about the fact that I don't live in the most beautiful place on the planet. In fact, we are so far down on the list of beautiful places that it is probably better to flip it over and call it "The List of Least Beautiful Places" just so we have the privilege of being high up on a list at all.

Yes, I live near the ocean and right on a bay. And I am sure that that some speck of beauty did exist here at some point. But, most of it is now covered up by industry. Every time I drive over the Fred Hartman bridge I peer over the edge hoping to see deep blue water stretching out of sight, bordered on the shores nearest me by thick forests or rocky cliffs. Instead, I get a heaving mass of what looks like liquid dirt surrounded by a drab landscape dotted with refineries, giant metal footsteps of "progress" trudging through a muddy bog. Oh, how it stirs the soul!

But, really I'm not complaining. (I couldn't do that so close to Thanksgiving) A few days ago I would have been complaining but then a day like today comes. The temperature is perfect. The sky is clear. The smells of the factories are blowing away from me. It is a beautiful day. It is a day that reminded me of a poem I read years ago that did stir my spirit. So, please take these words of Gerard Manley Hopkins as my Thanksgiving gift to you. Take them and enjoy them, preferrably outdoors in whatever place it is where you sense the grandeur of God.

God's Grandeur

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs -
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.


Blogger kentbrantly said...

You're pregnant???!!! Congratulations!!
Thanks for the poem. Sorry I didn't get you anything. I didn't realize there would be a gift exchange this Thanksgiving. My family usually does that on Christmas.
I hope you are doing great, Spruce.
Happy Thanksgiving... to all 3 of you.
kent <><

oh, and one more question - does your congregation know you as Spruce or Jason? just curious.

9:31 PM  
Blogger Matt W said...

Good to catch up with your blog.

In response to your entry before this one: I also have some good names picked out for your baby. All of the choices give tribute to our favorite people - maybe I should share them with you through email.

Also, I wanted to give you an idea if you're serious about your belly growing as if "with child". I saw this guy last week with his shirt off (at the beach). He had a belly quite a bit bigger than your's, but you might try to pull this off - he had three "bowling ball" holes tattooed on the side of his stomach. It was awesome!

10:58 PM  
Blogger JG said...

Our baby was incredibly modest too and we had to had to wait a whole month to find out that she was a girl. There's nothing more irritating that leaving the doctor's office without knowing. It's like getting up to December 25 and then someone saying, Hey, just kidding, we're going to postponse Christmas this year! We actually had to wait five weeks because the doctor wanted to be nice and sure. We'll be thinking about you during the agonizing weeks of waiting ahead and can't wait to know what it is!


6:11 AM  
Blogger Shanta said...

Thanks for the poem. I'm glad you're back! Let us know when little Shanipoliqua makes her appearance.

10:07 AM  

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