These words were written while on a spiritual retreat at Ring Lake Ranch, Wyo., when I heard creation glorifying God.
Before the beginning
Before the beginning is silence.
Not "dead" silence for nothing yet has lived so as to die.
Not "total" silence for nothing yet is so as to be summed up.
This is the silence of before.
The silence before the beginning.
God speaks and the silence is splintered, cracked, shattered.
God's first creation is sound.
God speaks and out of the womb of that first word, all sound is birthed.
Let there be the ringing hum of galaxies,
let there be osprey alarming and blue jay blustering;
let there be high spirited children's voices tossed into nighttime sky,
let there be nickering, neighing, and clinking metal of bits and bridle,
let there be crunching of gravel, sharp cracking of apple,
and glorious, gulping gales of laughter.
Let there be brawling bellowing thunder roaring down valleys like barrels rolling down stairs.
And yes, let there be sighing---of pine trees, and of lovers
and of the spirit as she hovers
over all that soon will come to be.
Psalm 19 (NRSV)
1 The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
2 Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge.
3 There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard;
4 yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In the heavens he has set a tent for the sun,
5 which comes out like a bridegroom from his wedding canopy, and like a strong man runs its course with joy.
6 Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them; and nothing is hid from its heat.
7 The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the decrees of the Lord are sure, making wise the simple;
8 the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is clear, enlightening the eyes;
9 the fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever; the ordinances of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey, and drippings of the honeycomb.
11 Moreover by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.
12 But who can detect their errors? Clear me from hidden faults.
13 Keep back your servant also from the insolent; do not let them have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression.
14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.