To the glory of God

Years ago I saw a movie made by an filmmaker from either Iraq or Afghanistan. I don’t remember its name, only that it was the story of a young boy who was blind, and there were scenes of mountains and fields of flowers. What I remember vividly is the prelude. The screen went black and then white Arabic script flashed across the blackness with its translation below: “To the glory of God.” There was silence and then the movie started.

The Australian poet, Les Murray, also opens his books of poetry with the same invocation: “To the glory of God.”

When it comes to art, it’s not difficult to see one is making one’s art for others, for the world, for God, whether or not it’s stated explicitly. Here is the best of me and not-me, the artist says, offering his art as a gift. And by artist, I mean anyone who does something with all their heart, so I also mean those who are artists of public service or teaching children or being a father and so on.

The other day I read the following passage in a Paulo Coelho book, describing what it would be like to approach “this day as the first day of my life”:

I am going to put on a shirt I often wear and, for the first time, I am going to notice how it was made. I am going to imagine the hands that wove the cotton and the river where the fibres of the plant were born. I will understand that all those now invisible things are a part of the history of my shirt.

I started thinking what would it be like, to give a twist to Coelho’s thought, to live the next hour, the next day, as if everything were for the glory of God. Every word, every thought, every gesture. I’d like to experience that.

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15 thoughts on “To the glory of God

    • What a silly comment, designed purely to provoke. You’ve caused dissension here before and I see you doing it on other blogs. I’ll be moderating your comments now. I’ve also seen you say elsewhere that you go to church and that you hold a position in the church. I wonder what it is you do there if it’s not worshipping God.

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  1. This is how I want to live, too.
    After all, God is the reason my heart is still beating today. That’s the whole truth.
    Ps. The comment above is generalized. The atrocities are done by people who have twisted God & tangled GOD into their own means & agendas (ISIS) for example…. These people are extreme & uneducated. These horrid atrocities are not done in the name of the GOD I worship.
    Narelle, How are YOU? XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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    • I get it was your love of God that got you through, Kimmy. This blog is not going to become a place where God is misrepresented.

      PS. I’ve been feeling lonely this weekend and I was trying to create something for myself. Thank you for asking, dear Kimmy xxx

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  2. GOD is an individual concept. He/She/It is whatever power we believe it to be. By “uneducated” you mean not educated from the same books as “we” are; not on the same page. The people committing the current atrocities are terrorists of the worst kind. Uncivilized beasts, yet their concept of “God” allows them to do what their desires would lead them to do anyway.

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    • If one’s GOD is promoting HATE, Violence, Rape, & Murder, it makes me wonder what book one is reading. This issue is much deeper than being uneducated, it is pure, unequivocal evil. I believe we are saying the same thing!!

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    • Kayti, I love and respect you and this comment is unhelpful. This blog is not going to become a place where I and others can’t say the word God because atrocities are being committed by a terrorist group. You say the terrorists are conflating God and atrocities. There are two people here conflating God and atrocities: you and Richard.

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    • I accept your apology, thank you. I’m still not completely clear on what you were saying and I get it wasn’t how I interpreted it. I’m annoyed that on account of Richard’s comment we’re discussing hate and ISIS when my post has nothing to do with it.

      Are we so feeble-minded that, like Pavlov’s dog, we can’t hear the words Iraq, Afghanistan and God in a piece without frothing at the mouth? Are we so far gone that we must declare allegiances frequently and loudly every time a conflict is raised: the war between Israel and Palestine, the war in Iraq and Syria, the war between one side and another in domestic politics, the war between women citing “misogyny” and men, etc? I choose not to make partisan comments in my life and on this blog. Others are free to make them on their own time and turf; I hold myself unfree in this regard. I decline to add to the fear and hatred in the world by commenting in a partisan way on hateful things. These comments are not aimed at you, Kayti, or anyone in particular. They are general comments about my stance.

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  3. Eckhart Tolle said: “The word God has become empty of meaning through thousands of years of misuse… By misuse, I mean that people who have never glimpsed the realm of the sacred, the infinite vastness behind that word, use it with great conviction, as if they knew what they are talking about.”

    I think you are talking about holding every moment and every activity as something sacred? Of course, people can react just as strongly against the word “sacred”. :)

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  4. I think I’ll focus on the Paulo Coelho quote. What a wonderful thing to conceive and do. And of course he is honouring the ‘god’ in that person, their spirit, their work. Even their working conditions – something to care about.

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  5. I saw the movie I think you saw ..the ‘Colour of Paradise’ i n which the quote appears as “to the glory of God”
    Anyway I get your point and links. I remember the blind boy, hills flowers etc.
    There was a scene where the young boy who is blind and now in a ‘boarding school / orphanage’ and a small group travel to a river / stream. The young boy who has recently been studying and developing the power of braille. Its so inspiring and tender yet a brutal reality is just around the corner.
    When the young boy makes his awkward way on all fours to the clear bubbling stream an ecstatic excitement overcomes him and he plunges his hands into the stream, searching, grasping and cajoling the smooth river stones and pebbles.
    To our astonishment he begins to recite letters; ‘a’ ‘b’ ‘c’ etc while reaching now a yelping pitch we, the viewer now realise he is actually ‘reading the river’ by way of his new found and liberating braille techniques designed to engage with the written narrative.
    It’s such a wow moment you left with a ‘Ok that could work’ or what is really taking place and what is this wonderful film maker suggesting.
    I just loved it and still ‘see it’
    Thanks so much for the prompt Narelle
    here’s a link to the Color of Paradise
    http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/the-color-of-paradise-2000

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