June 3, 2020
How Small the Regard of the Lord?
Quinn G. Caldwell
O Lord, how manifold are your works!
In wisdom you have made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.
– Psalm 104:24 (NRSV)
If the works of the Lord are manifold, so are the mysteries they engender. For instance: is a sparrow the smallest God’s notice goes? Does God see and care for the fates of smaller lives as well? Field mice? Worms? Fleas? Does God’s regard extend all the way down to…viruses?
I ask because some of us work hard to see the world in terms of systems. Predator and prey equally important; microbes and maggots mattering as much as seeds, for themselves and for the roles they play in the system. All beloved by God.
That which humans consider pathogenic often has other functions in the world beyond its effects on us. How does God think about the tiny bits of life that make us sick?
Does God hate them? Were they created by the Adversary?
Does God love them as much God loves as us, but is just sitting back and waiting to see who wins?
Is it possible that God created them, and loves them – and sent them at us?
The options are all grim enough to put you off God altogether. So maybe – bear with me here, you’re not going to like this – maybe these questions aren’t for us. Maybe they’re beyond our knowing, at least until we’ve mastered other mysteries first.
I think I’ve decided I’m not yet ready for the mystery of whether God loves everything in the Creation as much as God loves humans. Because honestly, the mystery of how God loves me and the person next to me equally is more than enough to be getting on with.
For a love that is so much bigger than my comprehension, thank you. Amen.
Quinn G. Caldwell is a father, husband, homesteader and preacher living in rural upstate New York. His most recent book is a series of daily reflections for Advent and Christmas called All I Really Want: Readings for a Modern Christmas. Learn more about it and find him on Facebook at Quinn G. Caldwell.