Faith Interprets the Mysterious Alphabet of Creation, but to the Heart, Not the Mind

The Holiness of the Here and Now – Part 35

And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. And Moses said, “I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.”

–Exodus 3:2-3 (ESV)

Faith is God’s interpreter. Without its light, we understand nothing of the language God speaks through his creation. We read only an alphabet of strange letters. It looks like nothing but confusion to us. It is a pile of thorns, in the midst of which we cannot imagine that God could be speaking. But by faith we see, like Moses did, the burning fire of divine love within these thorns. Faith gives us the key to the alphabet, that we might discover, in the midst of this confusion, the wonders of the wisdom above.

–Jean Pierre de Caussade

When we read about Moses encountering God at the burning bush, we see no indication that the bush changed form, only that it was burning yet not consumed. There was no pattern in the bush itself; its branches did not change shape to spell the words, “Hey, Moses!” Likewise, faith perceives the fire of God—his words and deeds, his love and wisdom—in the seemingly random events of daily life, even as they remain random.

Random events are not destroyed, but neither are they realigned to form a pattern more comprehensible to the human mind. Indeed, God can speak to you through a pattern emerging out of random events. But that is God speaking your language. And, while he sometimes speaks your language, he is always speaking his. Do not wait for a pattern; listen to the fire within the pile of thorns. Listen by faith. Faith hears God’s language and understands. And yes, as Jean Pierre de Caussade, tells us, “Faith is God’s interpreter,” but faith interprets the Creator’s message to the heart, not to the mind.

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.