Quarks in His Glory
By Maria Fontaine
Download Audio (13.1MB)
Peter and I were taking a break for a few days and we had gone to a beach town for a little solitude. I was taking a walk along the beach in the late afternoon and had been deep in thought and talking with the Lord, when I looked up to find one of the most stunningly beautiful scenes taking shape before my eyes.
The scattered clouds began to take on pastel hues of peach, violet, and gold against the deepening blue of the sky. I love all sunsets, but once in a great while I’ve encountered one that is so awe-inspiring that I can’t take my eyes off it. And the Great Painter was certainly getting my attention with this one. It was as if He was pouring liquid colored light into each cloud. The colors crept higher and higher until they seemed to overflow, and their streams became a living, swirling kaleidoscope of ever-changing beauty.
Everything else seemed to fade into unimportance alongside this masterpiece developing before my eyes. Gently, the expanding display flowed downward until it seemed to even swallow up the ocean, turning it into a sea of vibrant colors, soft and smooth like a mirror in the distance, and spraying showers of golden light as the crashing waves shattered on the sand just a few feet from where I stood. I felt immersed in its beauty as if it were communicating the Lord’s encouragement and love to me.
The colors began to spill down in darker hues onto a promontory crowned with a small peak that jutted out into the water some distance away. It was as though the flow of living light had splashed over the edge of the sky onto the peak and the buildings dotting it, transforming them temporarily into glowing gems of iridescent reds and golds.
The vivid transformation of the sky gradually shifted from soft pastel hues to deeper and richer shades of blood red, and burgundy, splashed with royal blues and copper streaks. And then, after what must have been fifteen minutes, seeming like mere moments, the grand display began to recede. Its glory slipped peacefully into the gentle mists of the evening to await its turn to paint the world with its transforming beauty another day.
As I stood there in the growing dusk like a little child whose mind had been awed by the grand finale of a massive fireworks display, hoping against hope that it might all start over again, it struck me that this astoundingly glorious and impossibly complex show of power and beauty was a mere thought, a twinkle in the eye of God. It was only a tiny speck in the immensity of His abilities—just a mere quark in the vast universe of His power. If this small and fleeting moment stirred my soul like this and left me speechless with its awesome beauty, how could I possibly imagine or comprehend the Creator of it, who could gloriously splash the sky with such grandeur and wipe it clean in a moment as if to Him it was just like His aura or atmosphere as He passed by?
In that moment, the realization of just how incomprehensible the Lord’s power is sank deep into my consciousness.
We get so caught up sometimes in our earthbound realm, fretting and worrying that we are all alone in our troubles and have to try to solve them on our own. But at moments like this, the resounding reality that we are deeply loved by one who can explode the sky into such beauty with nothing more than a passing thought reminds me of just who it is that I’m trusting in. What God said to me through that glorious heavenly art was, “I can create anything. I can sustain anything. I can protect anyone. I can solve any problem. I am beauty. I am power. I am love, and I do this for you.”
Times like this help me to remember that this same all-powerful one who creates such momentary grandeur for His creations is closely attuned to the tiniest needs and desires of each of us, guiding us and caring for us in ways big and small. He is active in our lives, not just with the momentary passing thought of a gorgeous sunset, but with a love that drove Him to set all else in the universe aside just to rescue us, when we couldn’t have been less deserving of such loving care. How could we ever worry that He might forget us or that He might not be in absolute, perfect control of every detail of our lives out of His unlimited and unconditional love for us?
When comes the golden sunset
That trails God’s way on high,
And with its radiant splendor
Illumes the evening sky,
How are the hills and valleys
Aglow with crimson rays,
While nature’s deep toned organ
Lifts heavenward its praise:
“Holy, holy!” Angel voices sing it;
“Holy, holy!” Cloudy pinions wing it;
“Holy, holy!” Gleaming towers ring it;
“Holy, holy, is the Lord most high.”
So God reveals at sunset
The grandeur of His throne,
The deeper, fuller glory
Reserved to be our own;
And in that hour’s unfolding
Forgot are fear and pain
In love’s abounding solace,
In heaven’s great refrain:
Then come, blest hour of sunset,
Along the golden way,
And thrill us with the splendors
That fill life’s perfect day.
God is the end of living,
He satisfies the soul,
And they who seek His glory
Will find in Him their goal.
—Calvin W. Laufer, 1922
Originally published September 2012. Republished on Anchor January 2015.
Read by Carol Andrews. Music by Daniel Sozzi.