God brought things into being in order that his [sic] goodness might be communicated to creatures, and be represented by them; and because his goodness could not be adequately represented by one creature alone, he produced many and diverse creatures, that what was wanting to one in the representation of the divine goodness might be supplied by another. For goodness, which in God is simple and uniform, in creatures is manifold and divided. —Thomas Aquinas
Right from the beginning of time poets, philosophers, and theologians have endeavoured to elucidate the divine/human relationship, this mysterious interaction that gives us purpose and meaning, the profound nature of the unknown and its alluring magnetism that fuels our inquisitiveness and enquiry.
Out of goodness and for goodness we were formed and created, to be a representation of something more than a freak of nature or natural selection, the soul of our humanity taken from the dust of time and breathed into existence in order to incarnate something other worldly.
We are a product of divine goodness (Genesis 1), a primary virtuosi of God, a colourful dialogue of heaven and earth that brought all life into being, an evolving emergence day by day and minute by minute. Throughout the Genesis poem we hear the writer reminding us that ‘it’s all good’ and yet we so often find ourselves distracted by a very negative and cynical view of life.. myself included.
Goodness starts with the declaration of LIGHT, the revealing of God, the divine bursting onto the scene, not so much a literal explanation but a mystical and mythological awakening in the human imagination. Light and darkness are the best metaphors to explain very nature of creation, the ying and yang of our collective consciousness, our shadow self and enlightened self.
Light helps us to differentiate and see in the dark, to hold the mysterious paradox of the unknown in tension and find goodness in hidden spaces. Hiding in my darkness are treasures that are being exposed by the light, revealing new depths of beauty in my humanity. And if we cant see it on our own we have, like Thomas Aquinas says, all of creation like a mirror acting to reminds us that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the divine metaphor of all seeing light.
I am a little light (thanks for reminding me of that Jesus) and a little dark, bewitched by own blindness and brokenness, groping my way through life while holding onto the flicker of hope that hides in my bones. My friends and family like the proverbial seeing eye dog provide me with the context my life deserves, for when I can’t see for myself I must learn to follow and let humility give me a glimpse of the way forward.
The common good is always found in the company of others who introduce us to their enlightened perspective on the grand narrative of life. Learning to see in this current cultural malaise is a corporate challenge of epic proportions, something I should never want to do on my own, lest I fall into the trap of believing my own spin! Google reminds me that I can know more but wisdom is found in the hearts of others… maybe light and wisdom are similes? Wasn’t she there in the beginning? (Proverbs 8)
Genesis chapter one is our common story-line, our unfolding life flow, an invitation into the all-play of creation, and it is ‘all good’. The poem ends with a moment of rest, a reflective pause as we take in all the sights, sounds, and smells of how goodness will nourish and care for our future. Stop a while and smell the roses, they really are good!
God spoke: “Light!” And light appeared. And God saw that light was good