There are 37 shades of green in Italy. That is not a scientific number–it could be more or less–I am simply trying to point out the incredible variety that exists in creation in this country. There is the silver green of the abundant olive trees. There is the winter green of the towering cypress trees. There is a slightly lighter shade of dark green that exists in the umbrella pines. There is the light green of the broad leaf trees that surround our home.
The pictures above look out over a valley along the road to our house on the outskirts of Florence. It’s a great walk from the bus stop to my front door every day–a respite from the craziness that is the historical center of Florence. It is peaceful, tranquil–majestic. North central Italy has some of the most dramatic skies I have ever seen. These pictures don’t really begin to capture it–but the brilliant blues, mixed with the contrasting grays, whites, and sun light can leave you breathless.
The Old Testament in particular highlights God’s creation as an important part of His expression of power. As I thought about it there are two things that people can never do–we cannot create ex nihilo and we cannot raise the dead. We do share lesser attributes with God in these realms–we can create things using what He has already provided–and we can bring healing to the wounded and the sick. But we absolutely cannot create something from nothing and we cannot bring the dead back to normal life–only Yahweh alone can do that. Creation is so powerful because it involves all five of our senses. It is a powerful visual image that points us to the Creator. I love creation–being in it–being amazed at it–seeing God through it. It inspires thanksgiving–if you let it sink in! It takes time and some contemplation to experience God through His creation. See how many shades you can find. Give thanks!