Thursday, December 29, 2005

The Wisdom of Beaver

The Glory of God in Man

“Are you the sons of Adam and the daughters of Eve,” asked the Beaver?
“It’s a saying time out of mind that when two Sons of Adam and two Daughters of Eve sit in those four thrones, then it will be the end not only of the White Witches reign but of her life.”

What is man that you are mindful of him? The psalmist first asks the question, but many since then many have asked the same question. I ask the question frequently but I notice that in different moods I am coming at the question from two slightly different perspectives.

The first way of asking the question what is man that you are mindful of him often comes when I am appreciating the vastness of God’s creation. For instance I might be gazing at the starry host on a dark night when even the duller stars seem to glow superlatively. I find myself thinking of me as very small-- and marvel that the God who created all of this host still remembers me. I think this view implicitly has my sinful nature in the back of its countenance. It is not at all the view of Beaver in the above quote. Beaver is looking at man as the natural heirs of the kingdom; something I rarely see if only because of my introspection. Instead, I look at the enormity of God and his creation, and that makes me inevitably feel small and insignificant.

The second way of asking the question what is man that you are mindful of him? seems to often originate when I am looking the inward manner of human life, particularly my own. For instance I might be caught up in part of what God has created in me, or in humans in general. I am looking at the plan of God for us, rather than at the humble state of my sinful soul. Why in the universe would God chose to become a man and why would he have such a glorious plan for humans? Rather than seeming smaller, in some fashion that I cannot fathom, I seem to have been made grander, as if I were two again and my father had given me his shoes to play in. The shoes are too awesome for me, and as a little boy I can never hope to do more than shuffle about in them. Now I am looking at the same verse but differently. I am looking at the enormity of me as God’s creation, and that too makes me feel inadequate, but awestruck at the enormous place He has given me.

Which way is the way the psalmist meant the question? I cannot answer for sure but I would rather hope the latter. For God to be so concerned about us does not seem to be a natural thing (the first manner) but God becoming man is at least equally unnatural (the last manner). Yet doesn’t a logical tenet follow from God becoming a man? Does it not follow that such a God would indeed be very concerned with the humans He has chosen to become? I take comfort in a God who has become like me, wearing my shoes that someday I may walk in His. As Beaver says, “The Sons of Adam and the Daughters of Eve will one day sit in thrones.”

Mr. D 2005


Miroslav said...

Hey Mr. D!

Well written piece here. I happen to like both interpretations that you've presented... possible to hold on to them simulatenously?

Seen Chronicles of Narnia yet? Great movie....

Happy New Year to you and your family!

Mr. D said...

Of course! But that reminds me of the dual fulfillment problem. We used to argue about it in college.

Have a happy and prosperous new year- May God bless and keep you and yours!