Chile - Patagonia - Fjords,Glaciers, and Antarctica

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I’m not talking just about the novelist, the playwright, the artist, the industrialist, the philosopher. They are the specialists in the different areas. I’m talking about all of us. And I’m not talking just about the special incidents—the story of your life-changing moment, the ritual of a family wedding, and so on. I’m talking about the ordinary moments. You tell stories about what has happened. You listen to more stories on television or radio. You go through the simple but profound ritual of cooking a meal, laying the table, doing the thousand familiar things that say, This is who we are (or, if you’re alone, This is who I am).

In the same way, the finest and best of our relationships will eventually end in death. The laughter will end in tears. We know it; we fear it; but there’s nothing we can do about it. If this is paradoxical—we’re meant for relationship, but all relationships come to an end—we find in both parts an echoing voice that reminds us of the echoes we have heard in the first two chapters. Those faith-systems which are rooted in the scriptures we call the Old Testament speak of human beings as made, irreducibly, for relationship: for relationship with one another within the human family (and especially within the male-female complementarity); for relationship with the rest of the created order; and for relationship, above all, with the Creator.

Beauty and God But whose glory is it? The Christian tradition has said, and indeed sung, that the glory belongs to God the creator. It is his voice we hear echoing off the crags, murmuring in the sunset. It is his power we feel in the crashing of the waves and the roar of the lion. It is his beauty we see reflected in a thousand faces and forms. 46 SIMPLY CHRISTIAN And when the cynic reminds us that people fall off crags, get lost after sunset, and are drowned by waves and eaten by lions; when the cynic cautions that faces get old and lined and forms get pudgy and sick—then we Christians do not declare that it was all a mistake.

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