Blue. MacKenzie. Torch. Crater. Tahoe. According to some online sleuthing, these are the names of the world’s top five clearest lakes whose underwater visibilities range from a maximum of 249 feet down to 70 feet. Visitors to these marvels are always mystified at what they are seeing, sending them frantically searching their vocabularies for adequate descriptors. Some begin pondering the geographical and atmospheric reasons contributing to such liquid clarity. Others, like myself, enter a state of rapturous praise for such never-before-seen beauty, instantly thinking of poetry, paintings, music, photography. These two approaches, interestingly, are in response to an absence, an absence of impurities, of obstructions, of roiled lakebeds. But regardless of the approach, be it academic or romantic, the universal inclination is to consider the sight before them both majestic and unforgettable.

The connection, for me, is that God’s Word is just like that – absent impurities, absent obstructions, absent ‘roiled waters.’ We trust the Word because, in its entirety, it agrees with itself, written over a span of centuries by a variety of scribes and poets and teachers and prophets and fishermen-cum-disciples, all under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. This integrity of the Word was recently reinforced for me. I was surprised with an intriguing piece of art which has tiny black print on a white background, written in the swirling shape of a fingerprint. Starting from Genesis at the bottom to Revelation at the top, there is a Bible verse written out from all 66 books of the Bible. The title of the piece is: God’s Fingerprint (you can see it hanging in my office). It is like one of those limpid lakes, exquisite in its absence of fluff, absent a multitude of colors, absent of ornate decoration – and all the more striking for these absences. God was divinely meticulous in crafting the Word for us, including and excluding the precise things needing inclusion/exclusion. He speaks to us through that Word, centering our souls, teaching us truths, embracing us in our frailties, celebrating with us in our joys – in short, loving us to wholeness, which is the very definition of Shalom. That seems clear enough to me.  PD

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