In the early twilight when the sky was still glowing with sun, I saw white clouds ranged up the eastern sky like stepladder almost all the way to the white moon.

A few minutes later, I looked again.  The wind had blown the ladder further away.  I could not climb it anymore almost to the sky.

Friend of the JG Wm. Jas. wrote a bit lately about looking at the sky.

In another verse, Kermit asks, “What’s so amazing that keeps us stargazing? / And what do we think we might see?” Of course, we can “see” quite a lot through the scientific observation of the heavens, but that’s not what he’s talking about. He’s talking about the sort of stargazing I myself am addicted to: the picking out of constellations (arbitrarily designated, meaningless sets of stars) and the making of such observations as “How bright the planets are tonight, and how close Jupiter is to the Moon!” He’s talking, God help us, about wishing on the morning star (sic — as everyone knows, it is the evening star — star light, star bright, first star I see tonight — on which people supposedly wish; another source of annoyance to me as a child). Well, what is so amazing that keeps us stargazing in that sense? No answer. And yet I’ve always thought of my love of the night sky as something that does me credit, and felt smugly superior to anyone so soulless as to refer to the stars as “bright stupid confetti.”

Read the whole thing.

It made me imagine a man who created a rose garden for children.  He put in fountains and topiary and everywhere roses.  The children came in families and with school trips.  One such trip, one child ran up to the man and asked, “did you make this garden just for me?”  And the man said, “I made it just for you.”

I’m not sure why the man is right, but I believe that he is.  Perhaps it is because he is the sort of man who would have created the garden for that child alone.  There is probably something characteristically Western in thinking of the class “children,” as distinct from all the individual children.  So, no, it is not the case that the rainbow is a miraculous alteration of natural laws caused just for your benefit.  But it is almost certain that when God ordered the world such that there would be rainbows, he had you specifically in mind.  And me too.  To Him “everyone” is not a hazy and indistinct conception.

The miraculous element in a sign or token is only important because to be meaningful, the sign or token has to have an agent behind it.  Clear violations of natural law are one type of evidence that there is an agent.  But they are only one type of evidence.  They are not the thing itself.  There can be other evidence of meaning and intent, the best of which is probably the natural upwelling of the heart.


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