Two little minor experiences this morning got me to thinking about God. One was a re-read of one of Hemingway's "The Nick Adams Stories", the other listening to an interview on National Public Radio with Judy Collins who has just finished an album of duets with other celebrated musicians.
Both the writing and music arts sometimes seem so "heavenly", so perfectly right, that it would seem they emanated from divine inspiration....I just have a really hard time believing that humans can produce this kind of magic without the help of a divine creator.
Hemingway is so perfect, such a master of words, that he had me smelling the campfire coffee and sizzling bacon, the sound of the river rushing past him, the sweet scent of pine in the air. I sit there and stare at Hemingway's words...just so simple and unadorned, and yet they are elegant in their simplicity and one wonders how he arranges those words in such a way to make them so. I would give anything to be that talented.
The other "divine-ness" came from listening to a clip of Judy Collins and Don McLean (of "Bye Bye Miss American Pie" fame) singing "Send In The Clowns". Both Collins and McLean wrote songs that were anthems to our generation. And when I hear McLean's "Vincent" I just can't imagine anyone better describing Vincent Van Gogh's tragic life...and with only six or eight stanzas of a song lyric!
Many people have talent, but some have gifts that are just "other-worldly" and you just have to regard them with a degree of awe, and, at least in my thinking, ascribe that kind of talent to a generous God.
Give me authorship and ownership of "White Christmas", or "Vincent", or "Send In The Clouds"...any single one of them, and I'd be content to die right now...and never worry about my legacy. Just pack me up and send me to a crematorium!
The same with great writing! Give me the talents to write an "Old Man of The Sea", or "The Grapes of Wrath", or "The Great Gatsby" and you can tote my old bones away, stow me in the closet, and bring me out once a year and stuff me in a Lazy Boy on my birthday....and I'd gladly go out with a smile on my face.
Sometimes the world sucks, and sometimes it doesn't. When it doesn't it's often because our creator gave us such gifts of human talent.