The plane had finally taken off. The familiar popping and buzzing in my head left me moving my jaw around in circles and digging my finger into my ear. I looked out the window, observing the strategically planted square fields, a thousand different variations of green. I noticed the slender ribbon-like roads, weaving in every direction, lined with tiny insect cars. The roofs of the houses were like long dull spikes, arranged side by side in dozens upon dozens of rows. Above the thin clouds were the perfectly clear blue sky and painfully white sun. It was god-like to me, seeing the earth and sky from such a view. I stared with melancholy approval.
"Such a small plane..."said the woman in the next seat, looking around and then over at me; she was expecting an affirming reply.
"It is tiny." I said.
"I've never flown in one so small. These things make it all the way to Michigan?"
"Yeah, I hope so." I looked over and smiled at the woman. She had grey hair and a round, tired face. She shrugged and didn't say anything more.
It's not surprising I associate the sky with God. My Christian tradition titles him, "our Heavenly Father." The name is fitting: the skies, or the heavens, are infinite and mysterious to us, they always have been, like God. The earth, although incredible in detail, is perhaps less unknown. We can see the earth: "Mother Earth." To me, when seen together, our Heavenly Father and Mother Earth could be argued as the arch-parents of humankind.
Humans. We're somewhere in between, a composition of both. Our physiological being is from the earth, our "mother," but our Father's essence runs through us as well, all of us. I think it is rooted in our ability to speak, words are so essential to our existence, yet they are not tangible, much like the thin air. John 1:14: "The Word became flesh" is the act of God becoming man, he became "flesh," a product of the earth. Language has the ability to create things we cannot see, it defines everything around us. Language gives us a means to distinguish one thing from another. "This is an apple, that is an orange," there's a difference and, given the name, we know which is which without either being in the room.
When we say "apple" repeatedly, it stops meaning "apple," as in the fruit that grows on a tree, and becomes a meaningless sound. Try saying "apple" for a minute straight. I believe God works in the same way. If we say his name, or even speak of him or hear him spoken of over and over, we forget, we stop hearing. He becomes just a noise to our ears and carries no meaning to our head. When language loses its meaning, we must come up with new ways to say things, new ways to state what has been said over and over for thousands of years so it can be heard again.
Just some thoughts I've had recently.