Your World Is His Alphabet

The Holiness of the Here and Now – Part 29

There are doubtless many different languages in the world, and none is without meaning, but if I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker a foreigner to me.

–1 Corinthians 14:10-11 (ESV)

Our own alphabet contains just twenty-four letters. Yet the potential of those letters, when mixed together, is unimaginable. With twenty-four letters, we can compose infinite volumes, each one different from the other, each one commendable in its own way. Who, then, could put into words what God is doing in the universe? Who could read and understand such a vast book, in which every letter has its own unique meaning, and even the smallest of letters holds deep mysteries? For such mysteries as these are not seen or felt; they are matters of faith. Faith judges their truth and goodness only by their source, for their outward appearance hides such things in obscurity, and blinds those who judge by reason alone.

–Jean Pierre de Caussade

It is difficult to grasp the overwhelming complexity of God’s involvement in the universe he created. As a point of comparison, Jean Pierre de Caussade used the astounding versatility of the French language and its twenty-four-letter alphabet (the same point could be made using any human language as an example).

Try this exercise: look at the world around you as the alphabet that God has at his disposal when he speaks his own language, as Creator addressing his creation. God has so many letters in his alphabet that he uses each one only once. All the parts that make up your experience (what you see, what you hear, what you feel) are letters full of meaning, in and of themselves, which are then combined to create exponentially greater meaning. And this happens in every moment of your life, from the smallest to the greatest. And then, in the next moment, God uses new letters in a new arrangement, to say something unique and creative. This is the world you live in when, by faith, you accept that the speaking Creator has never abandoned his creation.

The Holiness of the Here and Now is a daily devotional that I am currently working on. When I am finished, there will be 365 chapters like the one above. Meanwhile, I am sharing this work-in-progress. Like the Facebook page to see content like this in your feed.