The beautiful and the deadly

The view from the balcony

Nature is a funny thing – its beautiful and deadly, worshiped and abused.

We had a weekend break recently. It was good to get away. We went to an OMF holiday home that sits right by a certain ‘Lake Doya’. The area was familiar from holidays there as a child, but it was at a  different house this time. The view from the balcony was stunning!

deer on the island

We enjoyed a walk or two, a ferry ride to the islands in the middle of the lake where there were deer up close, eating ‘pumpkin’ ice-cream, a visit to a bear ‘zoo’, a trip to a tourist spot that sits between 2 volcanoes! (It was there that Ethan took his first outdoor steps!) The others didn’t want to, but I had a dip in the lake as well – very refreshing!

The Japanese have a real appreciation for beauty – this lake is famous for its beauty. Beautiful trees, rocks, and mountains are worshiped. And yet those bears didn’t look like they had much of a life in their compound. Now, I know nothing about looking after bears – maybe they were all happy, I don’t know. But I do remember a funny sight at the Imperial gardens in Tokyo; a hide used for hunting and shooting ducks, right next to a shrine for worshiping the ducks! It makes me wonder what paradoxes I might be living with. It also shows the tension between rationalism and irrationalism in a worldview without an all-knowing God who reveals Himself to us and explains how we are to treat this world He created.

may look cuddly, but watch out for those claws!

More paradoxes:

  • a volcano which can cause so much damage and destruction attracting lots of tourists, souvenir shops and postcard pictures
  • bears that look really cute, do tricks for food, get cooed over… and could rearrange your face with an effortless swipe!
  • we couldn’t drink the tap water in the house as it could kill us with some horrible disease, yet I still washed my hands in it, and I still swam in the lake!

My prayer is that many more here would look beyond this creation to the Creator and worship Him instead. Also, wouldn’t it be great if Christians in Japan had a clear theology of creation, caring for it well without worshiping it!

Ethan trying out his new shoes (nb smoke from the volcano!)

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