“Witness?” a friend of mine asked me recently. “Is that what you call it when you talk about God?”
“Yeah,” I answered, thinking about it. “I guess some people do.”
He gave me a little bit of a blank look, so I kept talking.
“It’s like when you see a car accident that’s in dispute. The police question you–they ask you what you saw, that’s it. They call you a witness. It’s the same thing. Sometimes we talk about what we’ve seen God do. That’s it. It’s kind of reassuring, actually, because we don’t have to make anything up. We can just talk about what we’ve seen.”
And I’ve seen a few things.
Not just in a bad way, either; in a beautiful way.
Just tonight I saw the moon so large and yellow. It hung low enough that I could probably touch it, with maybe just a little help from the Empire State building. It reminded me of a few things. First, how someone put it there. And second, that whoever put it there also made it beautiful.
When I read about the reign of Chairman Mao in Communist China, what struck me was the destruction of all things beautiful. Flowers were torn out of gardens, having been condemned for serving no real purpose. Music that was not patriotic and in support of China was deemed traitorous. Everything was utilitarian, that’s it. Nobody could take risks in that environment; surely nobody could pursue any sort of enlightenment through art, transcendence through creativity.
But then there’s the One who made the moon. It’s beautiful. Of course, it’s purpose is clear, but it’s also beautiful. I see that, and I feel comforted that there’s a God who cares about beauty. Because I do, too. But, I’ve learned that me alone caring about something isn’t always enough. But maybe if I care about something that the one who hung the moon cares about to–well, there’s a good change that it’s important, then.
And I find that comforting.
I’ve seen a lot of beautiful things. I’m happy to talk about them.
I guess that makes me a witness.