God’s Colors in His Creation

It’s been awesome to see God’s personality shine through his creation in Brazil. From the mouse-sized bugs…

maybe rat-sized

to the milky way galaxy lighting up the night sky.

Just as art displays the character of the artist, all of creation reveals a little more about God. It’s been an absolute honor to see more of God’s character on display in Brazil.

One of the first things that my mom wanted to show us as soon as we stepped out on Brazilian soil was this special bird called the Massa Barro

that builds a house out of mud. Let me tell you, if you gave me a mud pit and a shovel, I wouldn’t be able to build a house as functional as this. And this bird doesn’t even get a shovel. But God gave it the ingenuity to build a house with a conch shell doorway to protect the family inside.

These birds decided to start an apartment complex

But creative engineering isn’t all that the birds of Brazil reveal about God. They also show his sense of humor and love for socializing. Every morning in Taunay, I’d wake up to a crowd of cackling birds that sounded like all the most annoying laughs having a party. They’d scatter a bit in the day, but as soon as the sun started setting, they’d flock together again to laugh themselves to sleep right above my head. At some point, I’d just start laughing with them because of the sound they were making.

It seems that all birds in Brazil love parties and are rarely alone. If they’re not crowding a tree to chatter to each other in comical sounds, they’re pairing off with their mates. I’ve seen several blue Macaw parrots fly around–both in the city and in the country–but never alone. Where ever they go, they go with their mate. They’re absolutely stunning to look at and sound like rusty, metal wheels when they talk. Because God likes to pair beauty with strangeness.

Probably the most off-putting example of God’s personality were the howler monkeys that I was able to see in the Pantanal swamp. I’ve seen these guys on TV before and thought they sounded cool. But the TV doesn’t quite capture the atmosphere of their chorus. When I first spotted one in the treetops, he looked small and silent. I only knew he was a howler by the color of his coat. I looked for a short while and then walked on, unimpressed. It was about 10 minutes later that the howling started. I don’t know where it started. Within seconds, I was surrounded by a sound that made my hair stand on end. It took me a moment to associate the sound with a small fuzzy creature in the trees. Howls came from near and far. They overlapped each other and answered each other and when one got louder, they all got louder. My fight or flight reflex kicked in (for some reason). I wanted to run and seriously thought that they might eat me (as ludicrous as that would be). They SOUNDED like they wanted to eat me!

And then, just as the chorus of howling started to fade, a deeper guttural voice started in louder than the rest. Imagine an a cappella of grind-core singers with a lead solo part that shook your bones. That was it. My jaw dropped open and I looked at the people around me. I wanted to be sure that if we were supposed to run for the cars, I wouldn’t be left behind. And then it stopped. All at once, they went silent. Their forms disappeared from the trees and I never saw a trace of them again.

I wasn’t really sure what to make of it except that God loves all forms of music–even grind-core choirs that scare the hell out of me. I bet He applauded at the end of that.

But even this doesn’t compare to the raw power of God that I witnessed at Iguassu falls. The majesty and beauty that I saw there is far beyond my vocabulary. Everywhere I looked there was more of His splendor slipping off the rocks. And every part of it cried, “Power!” The rocks, the rapids, the concussion of air that ruptures out from the impact, the energy that moves it all! But suspended above all of that, in the most delicate fashion, were the rainbows.

I’m speechless.

Speaking of rainbows, have you ever seen the end of a rainbow?

This is what it looks like.

I’m blown away by the nature of God displayed in his creation. His art holds as wide a range as giant cockroaches and rainbows. He balances forms; gives meaning and symbolism to each; composes structures that inspire the world; incorporates the mastery of science; is the originator of all creativity–anyone’s art is a rip off of Him.

I just don’t know why he made mosquitoes.


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