1056. To live is not merely to breathe; it is to act; it is to make use of our organs, senses, faculties – of all those parts of ourselves which gives us the feeling of existence. ~Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Out of the waters of God’s life come
the creatures of earth, sea, and sky…

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With the birth of the creatures there is the emergence of
seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching…

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The light of the sun and the whiteness of the moon can now be seen.
The wind blowing through the leaves of the trees and
the crashing of ocean waves can be heard.

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The early morning fragrance of the earth can be smelled.
Its fruits can be tasted and its textures touched.
J. Philip Newell, Celtic theologian, poet, scholar, and teacher

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I’ve read it over and over again, and yet with each journey into its words and imagery I find more to love about the Scriptural circumstances and implications of the Creation story in Genesis. The fact that sensory perceptions came into play on the 5th day with the birth of the creatures, however, had never jumped out of the text and into my awareness until I read this passage above in Newell’s book. And that’s very surprising for a person who puts a high premium on the delights opened up through the 5 senses or for one who thinks that the loss of one or more of the senses would be a devastating mishap. Jean Houston said, “Our senses are indeed our doors and windows on this world, in a very real sense the key to the unlocking of meaning and the wellspring of creativity.” I agree, but they are not only that, I think some of the most divinely delicious parts of existence and many of our creaturely comforts come to us through our ability to see, hear, smell, feel, and touch. Our senses as well as everything else Yahweh incorporated into the fabric of our being and that of Creation’s life itself are sacred fibers that serve His purposes. As such all our organs, senses, and faculties must be revered and made use of throughout our lives.

Ears that hear and eyes that see–the Lord has made them both. ~Proverbs 20:12  ✝

**All images via Pinterest except the one by Wendy MacDonald; all collages created by Natalie