– Invisible, Yet Seen –
Episode 2, by Tracey Taylor – April/May 2018
“‘I will be for the most part, invisible. Yet, I shall be seen so that none can say ‘I do not believe in what I cannot see’’. And so, invisible elements were woven into the fabric of planet Earth and the skies that lay beyond, whom no-one could deny…” (Not Fire But Blood; Not Judgement, But Love (1)
In the first episode, I invited us to ponder on every day life; the seasons, the rhythm of creation great and small and to consider how this remarkable, faithful routine of nature, came about. In this episode, we are going to delve in a little deeper – go beyond the surface of what we see every day and start to look at some of these invisible elements all around that impact our everyday lives. First though, I want to extend an invitation to you again, this time to contemplate what the opening paragraph might mean.
This seemingly contradictory statement, is a paraphrase of a scripture found in the Bible. Taken from the book of Romans, it was written around 57-58 A.D. by a former anti Jesus-of-Nazareth zealot and Roman citizen named Saul of Tarsus, who had a miraculous conversion on his way to approve of a Christian’s stoning in Damascus (2). In chapter 1 verse 20 it reads, “For ever since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through His workmanship [all His creation, the wonderful things that He has made]…” (3)
What this verse from the Bible is saying is that although we cannot physically see the material form of the Creator, his fingerprints are all over creation. We see his workmanship through the routine rhythm of nature, the faithfulness of the day and night and in every other aspect of life that we know of. There are numerous other places in the Bible where a similar statement is written, by a different person, in an entirely different time of history. One such place is in the book of Psalms. The Psalmist David, a shepherd boy turned King of Israel (4), was a talented and famous musician and songwriter. He often wrote songs, hymns and refrains about the goodness and glory of the Creator. One such psalm relating to the Creator’s invisible appearance being seen in nature, is in psalm 19. We read in its opening verse, “the heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” (5)
So God is saying in effect, ‘you can see me. You can also touch me, smell me, taste me, hear me and feel me.’ All this we can experience through his creation, which he has given us as a starting point in getting to know him (6).
In addition, there are many references to Creator God as ‘sustainer’ and ‘life giver’ (e.g. Psalm 104 and Genesis ch. 1), allusions to his authority over the elements of the Earth such as the clouds and the weather (Job 38:33-37), to call in more examples.
Speaking of which, have you ever seen a cloud form?
…One sunny day, I was basking in its warmth whilst gazing at the blue sky. Suddenly, seemingly from no-where, in the midst of this untainted blue sky a puff of white formed. It grew and shrunk and grew and shrunk some more. It turned from white to dark grey and then regressed back to white, as it drifted in the sky. Finally, this puff of smoke disappeared again! It was quite an experience! I was astounded at what was my first encounter of this scientific phenomenon. Here I witnessed first hand something form ex nihilo -from nothing. And yet we know that the cloud does not form from nothing… We know about the invisible water gas and vapour (see episode 1).
So there is, without doubt, a substance that the unseen element is made up of. There is, without doubt, a very real invisible dimension around us. What we can also take from this cloud illustration, is the very real plausibility of what chapter 11 of Hebrews in the Bible says: “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible” (v3); a God who has woven invisible elements into the fabric of our life’s existence, to teach us of him.
Faith is that very definition: Believing in what you cannot see.
**copyright 2018 Tracey Taylor. You are welcome to share this piece of work, but please quote the author. All rights reserved.**
(1) Taylor, Tracey. (2018). Not Fire But Blood; Not Judgement, But Love (- a novella currently being written). Copyright 2018 Tracey Taylor.
(2) This historical account of Saul’s conversion, where he gets renamed Paul and hence-forth known as the apostle Paul, can be read in the book of Acts, chapter 9 in the Bible. More on Paul’s background is found in the book called Galatians. For a good outside biblical source about Paul’s life, go to https://www.britannica.com/biography/Saint-Paul-the-Apostle.
(3) Zondervan and the Lockman Foundation. (1987). The Amplified Bible: Romans chapter 1 verse 20. Copyright 1987 by Zondervan and the Lockman Foundation. Published by Zondervan: Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530, U.S.A. Www.zondervan.com.
(4) This took place approximately 993 BC. The accounts can be found in 2 Samuel ch. 5 & 1 Chronicles ch. 2 within the Old Testament of the Bible. For more on David’s timeline, visit http://totallyhistory.com/biblical-history/king-david/ among other sources widely available.
(5) This psalm 19 was written around 979 BC.
(6) The explanation to this ‘starting point’ will be unveiled in a later episode.