Writer and Catholic priest Henri Nouwen has observed:
“All that is, is sacred because all that is speaks of God’s redeeming love. Seas and winds, mountains and trees, sun, moon, and stars, and all the animals and people have become sacred windows offering us glimpses of God.”
Sometime during these early years—I think it was sixth grade—I went on Outdoor Education. Growing up in the Bay Area, that meant we headed to the beautiful Santa Cruz Mountains and studied how creation worked. We’d stay at a camp for several days, many of which we hiked through the moist Redwood forests.
And do you know the animal I loved best? Banana slugs—those bright yellow—and thus the name “banana”—slimy slugs. They seemed to show up everywhere. (In fact, the banana slug is the mascot of University of California Santa Cruz.)
Those banana slugs fascinated me. Perfectly adapted for their environment, they were beautiful in their own way.
I think a good deal of you are like me. If I asked you, "Where is one of the places where find God’s presence?" I’d bet most of you would say, Nature. That’s where you meet God our Creator.
As one of the top scientists in our country—and also a follower of Jesus—Francis Collins commented,
“I find that studying the natural world is an opportunity to observe the majesty, the elegance, the intricacy of God's creation”
Nature—that is, God’s creation—draws us by its beauty and thus to the God who is the Source of all beauty.
I discovered it early in the beauty of the banana slug.