An airport meditation

Serviceair carriers, baggage trolleys, conveyers on wheels, F-150’s racing around under the wheels of E-190’s and A-340’s, like hounds chasing cattle. All the scurrying–hilarious and necessary. In the distance, a plane tilts into the sky and is gone.

Above the pitch, an imperceptible curve of horizon holds the autumn colours under its tongue. Soon this brilliance will be swallowed up. But for now, all these yellow and orange deities transfuse their beauty. They are neither eternal nor omnipotent, but there is grace in their rule, and mercy in the hope of their return.

This sets me to wondering about omnipotence. Can there be great love and mercy in it? I’m not sure. There isn’t much in the Newtonian God–that omnipotent technician, scrupulous list keeper, calculating cartographer–that Lego Lord, as Annie Dillard called him; that great Neolithic proprietor, as Teilhard de Chardin called him.

Flight to Hong Kong Fortunately this marble monolith God has been sick and wobbly for a while now. And even though he keeps getting propped up and polished by a stratum of worshippers, the cracks are widening, as his clay feet crumble. How right and proper to keep hacking away at this god.

And how right to beware of erecting a mirror-image of this dying god. It’s a very real temptation that would leave us with a featureless God of no consequence. And great Love, that greatest feature, may not be omnipotent but it is never inconsequential.

In the end, it’s a well meaning but futile exercise to fret over any of God’s omni’s. All I know is that the edge of the world, just now, is blazing outside my window. The earth, all lit up from within. God’s immanence. And all around, the press of space. God’s transcendence.

And now, while flying over Taipei, I eat my supper. From where I come, it’s 4:30 AM. These things amaze me.   (Posted from Hong Kong, Oct 3, 8:40 PM)


  1. Thinking about the incongruity between a God who is love and a God of the omnis. Recognizing how distant an omni God seems….

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