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Saturday, December 04, 2010

My Blue ( white & gray ) Heaven

For the past months; I've 'had my head in the clouds', so to speak. Some people have asked me why the sudden interest in taking pictures of clouds; almost kiddingly, I replied, 'because clouds don't talk back'. Several months ago, on one of my photographic expeditions; I had the thought that, like the rainbow in Noah's day,so the clouds can be a reminder that judgment, for good or ill, is in the past; at least, as far as God is concerned. Although 'clouds' in Scripture, are, in most cases, somehow related to God's judgment, we know that, as with the 'rainbow' they are simply a weather pattern. In Wyoming, especially where we live, here in south-east Wyoming, we've come to count on the fact that the presence of clouds doesn't mean a whole lot; even if the whole sky is clouded over, and it looks very threatening: we may or may not get rain out of them, that's still up to God!

Like I said, 'clouds don't talk back'; they don't judge you if you're having a bad day, and they're never having a bad day. I like to think of clouds being a good representation of the principles laid down in John 3, which Jesus gave in response to Nicodemus's questioning. Although human beings are a bit different in makeup than clouds ( though we are roughly 8o% water, and like a 'vapor' ), being created 'in the image of God', and thus rational souls; we're really not all that different. Depending on which Spirit/spirit controls us ( our own, or the Spirit of God ), we can be, in a figurative sense, be 'blown about by every wind of doctrine' ( Ephesians 4:14 ), though, as Christians, we are ( though some of us act like it, sometimes ) 'no longer..children'. Because clouds are so easily blown about by the wind though; they are the subject of much wonder, with the beautiful, though unpredictable patterns, that result, and even those are ever-changing ( you may have noticed that some of my photographs have chronologically centered in one part of the sky for several frames, or just several frames apart ). Although we have been taught that, once we reach a certain point in our doctrinal stance ( this may vary, according to the church you belong to, if you're affiliated with one ), you should 'dig your heels in' and defend the faith, and not waver; but we should always remember that since God is the determiner of true doctrine ( 'it is what it is' ), and referring back to John 3, is symbolized in the 'wind'; we should always be willing to be, and are, whether we like the results, sometimes, blown by that 'wind' into beautiful, wondrous, and ever-changing ( growing, 'morphing' ) patterns.

'Heaven' has been the subject of much of my thought, as well as many of my articles recently, and I've come to the conclusion that, in many ways, 'heaven is what you make it'; as something that we experience, not only on the spiritual plane, enjoying the presence of God forever, but in everyday life as well, in this physical plane of existence; 'Heaven', at least on the physical plane, can be a simple as experiencing the joy of gazing at, and photographing ( copying ) that amazingly beautiful example of His handiwork, the clouds!

By His grace, enjoying 'Heaven',
Charles Haddon Shank

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