Now nothing is a strange head-waters,
As old King Lear said to his daughters,
“Nothing will come of nothing”, and yet
Some think nonentities beget.
Unless their “nothing”s an ancient rumbling,
A giant, cavernous, black, old something,
But if in every sense it’s nought,
Then life’s a miracle, absurdly wrought.
And all our days are spent suspended,
Over the abyss to which we’re tended.
Laughing, learning, living, loving,
But push beneath, it’s really nothing.
And so to chaos some will turn.
Primeval punch-ups their concern:
Bangs and Blasts and Battles, War,
These begot us in days of yore.
The myths of old saw earth deriving
From the deities conniving.
Warring gods began the trouble,
We are just the cosmic rubble.
Still today we have our clashes,
Life emerges from the ashes,
Of stars exploding, species striving,
The weak devoured, the strong surviving.
But maybe you think life is more
Than endless struggle, pointless war.
Perhaps above the chaos towers,
Some all-controlling cosmic powers.
And “In the beginning…” there was the LAW
Of gravity or something more.
This power reigns, all must succumb
And dance to its relentless drum.
And then the faith-head comes along,
Starts to sing the same old song.
“There is a sovereign, we are awed,
Let’s call this boundless power: God.”
And “in the beginning”, imagine a throne.
Power personified, all alone.
No back and forth, no give and take,
This Self exists for Self’s own sake.
If such a god decrees creation,
Creatures have but one relation.
God’s a cosmic Chairman Mao,
Defined by might his world must bow.
And so religious folk are sated,
Rendering reverence unabated.
From nothing and from chaos saved,
Yet under Power now enslaved.
Is this how Christians see the matter?
God a narcissist to flatter?
If this were true all hope’s bereft,
But there is another option left.
We read in Genesis and John,
A life of love before the dawn.
A Father, Son and Spirit bound,
In self poured out and, losing, found.
In back and forth these Three delight,
And share one life of radiant light.
Behold: This deferential dance,
This ancient and profound romance.
This is the bubbling brook that burst
the banks of endless love immersed,
To flood all else with light and longing,
Soak our souls with true belonging.
This: the pulse of all creation,
This: the primitive vibration,
This: all nature’s explanation,
“In the beginning”: Adoration.
Where are the well-adjusted minds?
Which faith to deepest truth aligns?
For all will hold that love is first,
But in their creed the rank’s reversed.
We live as though self-giving’s best,
We deem a life of service blessed.
We spend our lives as loved and lover,
And then conclude it’s all a cover?
For if nothing’s our source, then life’s absurd.
If chaos, then war’s the final word.
If power, then all of us are slaves.
And yet it’s love the whole world craves.
So what’s our “beginning”? Our answers count.
Both ‘now’ and ‘next’ spring from this fount.
Which sovereign ruler reigns above?
Nothing, Chaos, Power, or Love?