The Genesis of It All
Luci Shaw, Sr. Huai-Kuang Miao & Sr. Mary Lane
Luci Shaw is a contemporary poet whose work is rich, highly regarded, and deeply spiritual. She writes for and serves on the board of Image (which I love); has published volumes of poetry, essays, and spiritual memoir; and co-authored a few books with the late great Madeleine L’Engle. In other words, she’s really cool. And she has written a beautiful children’s book about creation, The Genesis of It All.
I love books about creation, generally. Once we can imagine that this world was crafted by God, with love and care, the most mundane things are suffused with wonder and mystery. I love this book, in particular, because of its emphasis on God’s delight in what he creates, and its attentiveness to the creative process. God thinks, ponders, and imagines – and these thoughts become the reality we inhabit. God is “exhilarated” and “excited” as he thinks and speaks the world into existence. And throughout, this marvelous refrain is repeated: “It wasn’t easy, but God did it. It was a mystery, so we don’t know how it happened. We weren’t there to see.”
As they read The Genesis of It All, children can see a continuity with their own budding creative processes. Our ability to imagine and create comes from our Creator, and we mirror his image whenever we make. But there is a clear emphasis on the originality and power of God’s creation, and a welcome acceptance of the mystery of it all. It’s okay that we don’t know how this all came about. We can explore it scientifically, but we’ll never be able to prove anything about the origins of life. We weren’t there to see. But we’re here now, to rejoice in the glory of it all, and to marvel at the wonder.