I have been reading Francis Chan‘s book, Crazy Love, for the second time. It was a hard book for me to wrap my head around the first time, although what I thought was the initial concept was easy enough. However, the book is more about finding our own ‘crazy love’ for God, and not so much about God’s ‘crazy love’ for us. Indeed, it’s a book that made me evaluate my life and my current relationship with God.
The first time I read it, it was with a lenten study group last spring. Because our study group was only 6 weeks, we pretty much breezed thru it, as much as one can breeze thru self-evaluation and spiritual focus. I found it uncomfortable and challenging, and felt I had not spent enough time studying the book, how I felt, and what I thought God wanted me to take from it. I am hoping my second read will give me more understanding of what Francis Chan is trying to say, and improving my own somewhat constrained relationship with God.
However, here I sit 4 weeks later, stuck on the 3rd page of Chapter 1. A little background: On page 2 of Chapter 1, Francis Chan encourages his reader to view his Awe Factor of God video, which I did. It takes you from a mountain range on earth, out into space, gradually going out 100 million light years, in order to give you the sense of how big the universe (and God) is, and how small we really are in the order of things. On page 3, he goes on to describe the intricacies of certain insects and that the average elm tree has 6 million leaves on it. 6 MILLION. Pause.
I went outside then and looked at our poplar tree in the backyard. How many leaves? Multiplied by how many trees? All the trees in my neighborhood x all the trees in my town x all the trees in our county x all the trees in Wisconsin…it was like seeing all of the galaxies from the end of Francis Chan’s video. I was fascinated. Driving down the road, I would see a tree and think “galaxy”.
And then I began going in reverse. Not just trees – but bushes, shells on a beach, grass, sand, algae spores, water molecules…I was reminded of a book I read once called Mister God, This Is Anna by Sydney Hopkins. In it, the main character Anna says “…Mister God didn’t at all mind making himself small. People thought that Mister God was very big, and that’s where they made a big mistake. Obviously Mister God could be any size he wanted to be. “If he couldn’t be little, how could he know what it’s like to be a lady-bird?””
I can’t look at anything now without seeing galaxies, each one building on the other. Alone, a water molecule is just a molecule, but multiplied, it becomes a drop, and multiplied drops become an ocean.
“After all, Mister God did not have only one point of view but an infinity of viewing points…”. – Anna in Mister God, This Is Anna.
God is not just majestic, alpha and omnipotent, like the awe we feel when looking at Hubble telescope photos or when reading Revelation 4. He is also meek, omega and frail, like a baby born in a manger or a man nailed to a cross. From miniscule to gargantuan, all things are based on the pattern of God, and He has absolute power on both ends.
Hmmm. Wasn’t quite expecting to end up here when I started. I was mostly fascinated with the whole “everything is a galaxy” thing. So where does this leave me? I don’t know yet. I do know that I am in awe and reverence of Him, not so much because of how big He is, but because of how small He can choose to be, and that no box I build for Him can contain Him. Proverbs 1:7 says “Fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge.” I guess I start there.