Saturday, March 28, 2009

a perpetual hallelujah

I have tried to find words to articulate what these images make me feel. Conor and I first saw them when the Discovery Channel premiered the BBC documentary series, "Planet Earth", in 2007. It took up many hours of our life when we were anticipating Copeland's arrival, and even when we knew of her condition, there was something calming about seeing the natural world in motion. It's difficult, in the face of grief, to watch humanity continue to twirl - people going to lunch, taking taxis, visiting the park, renting movies - but somehow, nature, in its finest display of continuity, routine and discipline reflected something more of a God who is not only creative in His storytelling, but also intentional.

Sellers has taken to great bouts of weeping whenever she sees this trailer; we weren't totally sure why at first, but as time has passed, and we've watched it over and over, we suspect it's because she, as a child, has a greater access to that part of her spirit that needs to connect with nature, a part that, without the dregs of time, is still sensitive to the beauty she sees and the impulse to be near it. I read, recently, a fantastic post on a friend's blog that discussed a possible correlation between our decreased interest in God and our decreased interest in the natural world. We say we aren't ones for camping, or hiking, that we don't like getting wet or dirty or that bugs or snakes or spiders or whatever else bother us - and perhaps this is true. But we are now a generation of people who see getting wet or dirty or dealing with natural elements as negotiable, a generation who could, effectively, almost avoid such events entirely by mildly calculated efforts.

I don't know what God wants for the rest of my life. Sometimes I find myself feeling suppressed, or depressed, or just anxious, as though my spirit knows there's more but my mind can't fathom what the 'more' is. I don't mean Heaven. I'm trained, as a believer, to understand that Heaven is great, Heaven is where we should want to be. But when I have absolutely zero framework for what Heaven might possibly be like, I find it difficult to imagine, much less look forward to. Isn't it odd that most of our musings on eternity focus on something more like a grandiose church service, white robes and Southern Gospel included? If the God who created the place I'm going to spend eternity also happened to create the place I'm currently residing in, wouldn't it benefit me to get a better glimpse of it than through my tinted windows as I drive 45 miles an hour to get groceries? Would it change your relationship with Jesus if you knew the place He was preparing for you was just like where you happen to live now - only redeemed, whole, new, fresh, more alive and vibrant? That when we look on these images of animals and plants and water and earth brimming with possibility, we can honestly know that, without voices like our own, each is singing a song of praise and anticipation and hope - a song that cries out for rebirth? What if you started a walk with God that began simply based on the acknowledgement of His creativity, the majesty and wonder of His works, instead of choosing to walk away from God because of a human effort to convert you? What if His message is stronger than anyone else's? What if this is all for you?

If you are a believer, it is your responsibility to honor this masterpiece. Satan has used the political dialogues we've taken to engaging in when it comes to caring for this planet to turn our eyes and ears away from what is true, and right. God has said that He has created this wonderland, this place of majesty and might, so that "everyone will see [it, and so that] no one can miss it— unavoidable, indisputable evidence that I, God, personally did this. It's created and signed by The Holy of Israel" (Isaiah 41:20). Who are we to question our duty to treasure and cherish this gift? We would never refute a Christian's calling to preach the Gospel by word or deed. Why, then, are we quick to shove the very creation upon which we stand aside, declaring it ours for the taking, assuming no passion or fear or respect for what God designed as His most faithful evangelist? It was the Pharisees, those who considered themselves the most devoted in their religion, who were stunned to hear that, even if Jesus' disciples kept quiet, the stones themselves would cry out (Luke 19:40). Oh, that we were more aware of the hallelujahs going up around us every moment!


marni lane said...

amen, sista!! :) love

Olive said...

Amen! Amen! Amen!

Anonymous said...


carandavis said...

I finished reading Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church by N.T. Wright last week and I was blown away. I think you would enjoy reading about the new heaven and new earth that will be joined after the resurrection. You're right -- it will be earth -- but restored to it's original creation -- we're not going as disembodied souls to a heaven of puffy clouds. We will be human, but more fully human, more fully alive and have incorruptible bodies. You'll love the book. Check it out.

daniella said...

Thanks, Boothe! I think I'm going to get up right now, put my daughter in her stroller and go out for a walk :-).

Always a complete pleasure reading your posts. God bless!

Nicole said...

Hi! I am a lurker on your blog however I wanted to post this evening because the following words you wrote spoke to me:

Sometimes I find myself feeling suppressed, or depressed, or just anxious, as though my spirit knows there's more but my mind can't fathom what the 'more' is.

Thank you for writing such a beautiful post!

Michelle said...

I just wanted to tell you that I have a theory about Heaven, and why we don't get as excited about it in this lifetime as we maybe sometimes think we should. I blogged it, and it's called "90% of unused brain." It's something I've been thinking about. We have the hope of Heaven...but we have this life to live out...Anyway, If you read the post, let me know!
Your writing is inspired. God bless you and your precious family today! Thank you for writing and encouraging so many people!

Anonymous said...

Im with Sellers it can bring tears to your eyes, I did this while seeing it at the theater, it's got a lot to do with everything we know about God we see things differently then those around us do. After reading this, IM also heading outside to enjoy life of what God created and taking pics of mama and her babie ducks.
God bless for such wonderful writting and sharing with us, I was feeling so down till I read this, God is working wonders in your life Boothe, to help all of us through your blog Thank-you for sharing.

Trudy said...

Wow, what a beautiful post. Sometimes I think I mistakenly turn away from nature documentaries and ecological dialogue because they don't honor the Creator...but I understand now from your words that this is a temptation from Satan who is keeping us away from honoring God for the majesty and beauty that is our Earthly home. Now that your meaningful words have set me straight I think I can resist this temptation better.

Randi said...

I love working with my hands outside. Growing up in the city and now living in the suburbs, I feel like I am reborn. My husband is from northern England and whenever we visit, I just am in awe of such glorius mountains and many, many sheep. I love that my sons want to help me with yard work, that they have such a natural curiousity to learn.... I am blessed by God's love to us!

S.E.A Mom said...

I was also going to suggest Surprised by Hope. It's an amazing book, and you can get a glimpse of what it and the author are like on The Colbert Report. It's right on par with what you're talking about!

Emily said...

Your blog was sent to me by a friend early in your pregnancy with Copeland, and I have enjoyed reading your story and praying for you over the past years.

I'm partially through Heaven by Randy Alcorn, and it has been such an amazing read. I find myself excited and amazed and often in tears as I really think about life with Jesus forever. Awesome.

Thank you for your transparency and your faith!

Anonymous said...


We would love, love, love an update on your family, and some pictures! Maybe you would prefer your privacy, and that's ok. It's just that we prayed so long and hard and we'd love to see the miracle that God performed.


Candy said...

Amen! The earth is such an amzing place and so many people are scared of what's out there. Take a leap of faith and explore. You will find a piece of heaven here on earth.

Liz Blalock said...

Boothe, I love this post!!! You have a beautiful family!

Carla Burlando said...

"God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees and n the flower and clouds and stars." Martin Luther

Carla Burlando said...

So well written. I think one of the important things we can do as parents to woo our children to their heavenly father is allow them to enjoy his creation. Explore, discover, get dirty :) God is the artist of all artists, its time we as Christians appreciate and more than that ,bask in the beauty of what he created out of love for us.

The Tooley Times said...

Hi from Corpus Christi. If you can swing it finacially, pray about ordering the CD series by Dr. David Jeremiah, What you Always wanted to Know About Heaven.

When I read your post this morning, I immediately thought of it. It is absolutely incredible.

Thank you for writing again. You have such a gift with words. Your daughter is growing up and is such a cutie! May God continue to bless you and yours.

Here is a link to the CDs:

THAT GIRL said...