I was recently informed that the word in the Book of Genesis that was translated as “good” should actually have been translated as “beautiful.” Yes, when God created something from nothing (ex nihilo) He saw that it was beautiful. Beauty is not just in the eye of the beholder, but it is something that has harmony, wholeness, and integrity.
When the world and all that is in it was created, the Creator of it all, of us all, deemed it all beautiful, and very beautiful at that! I love contemplating a God who finds us beautiful. Once again, just as in my last entry, where I discuss God as a parent who finds delight in observing us, just beholding us in His gaze, this new information about how God regards us helps me understand our relationship a bit more.
Because I am a parent who has always been madly in love with my children, I get the beauty God sees in His creatures. Yes, that’s literally what we are, creatures. For the one who creates is the Creator, thus if follows. And that’s alright. We don’t have to feel ‘less than’ because of that. We are less than God so it’s really not that big a deal to be defined as a creature. But these days ‘creature’ can have a bad connotation. We are not less than any other human or any other created thing. Never forget that. In fact, as the only creature who is made in God’s image and given dominion over the rest of creation, sharing in God’s creative process, we’re actually uniquely special.
We should actually rejoice and be glad (and grateful) that God thought enough of us to bring us into being and then make us His co-creators. Though less than the God who we image, but are not equal to by any stretch (can you create from nothing?), we are indeed the only creatures who can know and appreciate God’s grace. Whether our life time is a few days or a few decades, God never needed any of us. But He wanted us; He always wants us. Sometimes God brings some of us Home sooner than we would have desired, and this causes us great anguish at times. It causes much grief because we are human and imperfect. We cannot live forever here, our hope is that we will live forever there. And then we get to spend forever with the One who loves us more than anything, with the One who thinks we’re beautiful.
I, for one, think that’s something that should give us comfort and fill us with gratitude. Give thanks and don’t despair. God doesn’t make us out of boredom or pity or curiosity. He makes us because the Love He has, the Love that He is, will not remain self-contained. We’re beautiful as only God can make us and we’re loved as only God can love. So, just like St. Paul, again I say, rejoice!