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Savoring the Ordinary Beauty in Life

In a recent book, Paul Gould writes:

The writings of Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Marilynne Robinson are infused with a sacramental theology. Her writing helps us see and savor the divine in the midst of the mundane. In an oft-cited passage, she invites readers to consider the ordinary—in this instance water—from a new vantage point. In her book Gilead, the Congregationalist minister John Ames knows his time on earth is coming to an end, so he writes a series of letters to his young son. Ames shares a memory of an earlier time when he watched a young couple stroll along on a leisure morning:

“The sun had come up brilliantly after a heavy rain, and the trees were glistening and very wet. On some impulse, plain exuberance, I suppose, the fellow jumped up and caught hold of a branch, and a storm of luminous water came pouring down on the two of them, and they laughed and took off running. The girl sweeping water off her hair and her dress as if she were a little bit disgusted, but she wasn't. It was a beautiful thing to see, like something from a myth.”

“I don't know why I thought of that now, except perhaps because it is easy to believe in such moments that water was made primarily for blessing, and only secondarily for growing vegetables or doing the wash. I wish I had paid more attention to it. My list of regrets may seem unusual, but who can know that they are, really. This is an interesting planet. It deserves all the attention you can give it.”


Paul M. Gould, Cultured Apologetics (Zondervan, 2018), pp.83-84

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