Such little knowledge of Him as has come to me came much more freely, when I began to look for that revelation not alone in solemn mysteries, or through the mediumship of prophets, apostles, and ancient scriptures, but in the sights and sounds and happenings of every day. Here I must ask not to be misunderstood. The solemn mysteries have their place, but it is one of climax. The mediumship of prophets, apostles, and ancient scriptures is of unreckonable value, after I have done something for myself. By this, I do not mean that all cannot work together simultaneously, but rather that it is useless for the soul to strike only at the more advanced, having ignored the elementary.

As I write, I look out on a street full of the touches of spring. The rain-washed grass is of bright new green. The elms are in tenderest leaf, the hawthorn bursting into flower. Here and there, a yellow clump of forsythia is like a spot of sunshine. Tulips are opening their variegated cups, and daffodils line the walls. Dogs are capering about, a collie, a setter, a Boston terrier. Birds are carrying straws or bits of string to weave into their nests—or singing—or flying—or perching on boughs. Children are playing—boys on bicycles eagerly racing nowhere—little girls with arms round each other’s’ waists, prattling after their kind. Overhead is a sky of that peculiar blue for which the Chinese have a word which means “the blue of the sky after rain,” a hue which only these masters in colour have, to my knowledge, specially observed.

How can I help seeing so much beauty and sweetness as the manifestation of God? How could He show Himself to me more smilingly? How can I talk of not seeing God when I see this? True, it may be no more than the tip of the fringe of the hem of the robe in which His Being is arrayed; but at least it must be that. True, also, that beautiful as these things appear to physical eyes they must be still more beautiful to spiritual eyes—the eyes of those who have passed on, for instance—to say nothing of the delight which God must have in them Himself. But even with my imperfect mortal vision, they are rapturously good, a veritable glimpse of the Divine.

This is what I mean by the elementary—the common, primary thing, the thing I look at every day and hardly ever accredit to its source. I am not speaking pantheistically here, any more than when I spoke of light. These things are not God, or part of God. They are expressions of God. If I speak of seeing God in them, I mean that in them, as well as in many other simple things, we see Him as nearly as is possible to such comprehension as ours. “No human eye,” writes St. John, “has ever seen God: the only Son, who is in the Father’s bosom—He has made Him known.” He made Him known in His own Person; but He appealed also to the everyday sights and sounds, the lily of the field, the blowing wind, the sparrow falling, the children at their mothers’ knees, for the evidence to declare Him. As expressions of Him, they may be misinterpreted by the error in my physical senses, or distorted by my limitations of spiritual perception; but even then, they bring Him near to me in the kind of radiance which I can catch.


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