Thursday, June 15, 2006

A Gift From Whoever

Last night on Fresh Air Andrew Revkin was talking about his book on an expidition to the North Pole to monitor the polar ice cap. It was an interesting interview relevant to the hot topic of global warming, but I don't have anything to say about that.

Instead I want to ponder a phrase Revkin used toward the end of the interview. He was talking what it feels like to be at the North Pole when he referred to the earth as being, and I quote, "a great gift from...uh...whoever."

This is fascinating to me -- especially the pause. Normally, I wouldn't include such a hesitation in quoting what someone said, but in this case it strikes me as being full of significance. We moderns -- people who use electricity -- haven't lost, are unable to lose, the appreciation of the world around as a great gift. But a gift from whom? We still know the answer, but it embarasses us. We think it sounds foolish to say it. So we say it is from "...uh...whoever."

But if not God, who else could give us such a gift. No matter the name you put with it, by the very fact of being the giver of this gift, the benefactor is, inescapably, God.

3 comments:

Mata H said...

I think you should write him a letter. I'm serious.

Lutheran Zephyr said...

thanks for this post.

I wonder what would be so awful for this man to say, even as a form of speech or cultural expression, "a gift from God." To go out of your liguistic way to mutter and stumble in an attempt to avoid aknowledging God takes quite an effort.

Andy said...

Maybe he was trying to be inclusive.