Wednesday, April 23, 2014

I AM the Life

How can you tell that something is alive? Scientists measure life in a number of ways--it has to have organized cells, use energy and grow. It has to reproduce and adapt. These standards make life recognizable and quantifiable. By them, we can evaluate the things of this world as to whether they live or not. By them, we can say that a virus lives, but a stone does not.

But, once life is established, what then? By these standards, a bacteria or a strain of yeast is alive, but does it share the same measure of life as a flower, fish, a bird, a horse, or a man? On the face of it, the simple answer is 'no'. A lily, for instance, has fragrance and physical beauty that a strain of yeast does not. And a lion has size and ferocity and strength that a lily does not. A man, however, has intelligence and the capacity for spiritual connection that a lion does not. All life, then, does not example itself equally.

So what about the conditions for life? Once established, do they really define the living occupants of this world? It seems that life has established a hierarchy of itself. All life is not equal. It is not flat or static. Life is more than growth, than the multiplication and adaptation of cells. Yes, a bacteria is alive, but there is so much of life it cannot exhibit.

It's like life, once established, continually bursts its bounds into new territories of sight and taste and touch and emotional feel. Life, always simultaneously present in all its forms, tends to reach ever upward in escalating progression. From simple cells to the spreading universe, it constantly reminds us that whatever comprises the force of life goes beyond the physical limits that surround it. Life animates a cell, then an opening leaf, then breath, then flesh itself until it reaches, through human beings, beyond even those.

In the end, life itself points to its source. Life points to Spirit. Life itself makes us want to find God.

And that was exactly what God had in mind.

The animation of combined elements is still a mystery no science has unlocked. Able to copy it, science still has not been able to insert life into a pile of dead atoms and molecules.  But the phenomenon continues to surround us. Seeds burst open with a green shoot. A star appears where none was before. A human being grows from the union of two cells. Every moment, God gives and takes away life and we have no idea how He does it.

But we shouldn't wonder at that.
Life is not a mechanism or a chemical reaction or the wave of a celestial magic wand.
Life is God imparting Himself into creation.
God is Life.

After all, He said so:
I AM the Resurrection and the Life.--John 11:25

When God makes something alive, He puts Himself into it. We call it Spirit. When He withdraws that bit, that Spirit, the thing dies.
God is Life. Life is God.

That's the beauty of spring, of birth, of the creative act as a whole. It is our witness of and participation in God, in His Very Being. Gardening, painting, the bearing of children, the companionship of animals--all are parts of Life--all are parts of and experiences with God.

It is God saying, 'I not only made you. I am in you.'


  1. JoAnne,
    I loved your post. Well written & very thought provoking!
    Thanks for linking on Soul Survival's Faithful Fridays.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment. Hope to be back.

  2. Very well said, I love the way you talk about life and how in fact it is to be God imparting Himself into the creation, He is among us in all that surrounds us.
    Thanks for joining us at the Follow Who? Social, have a lovely week.

    1. Thanks. Glad you got something out of this. And thanks, too, for your gracious hosting every week. Blessings.