A couple of weeks ago I was on an island in the western Visayas region of the Philippines. There is a Balete tree there which has stood (and is still growing) for 1300 years according to Botanists. Amazing to think of all the history that has unfolded since it first sprouted from the earth. In the same town is Mount Kanlaon, an active volcano that has been spitting out rocks since Dinosaurs walked the earth; a truly magnificent sight as the sun rose and glistened on its peak and a squadron of swallows flew by and added their benediction. I am often in awe at the wonders of creation, it restores something in the heart to be immersed in it.
But there was more glory in that town to be seen as I moved from creation to redemption. I went for coffee at Joring’s Café. Now in her 70’s her testimony is written on the wall of the café. A rebellious teenager, married at 16 and abandoned with 2 children by 21 she had a tough journey ahead of her. In 1976, with only 27 pesos (50p) and the support of loving, pious parents she started making coffee for the traders and shoppers at the local market, her children helping to serve and do the dishes. Through many hardships, and a renewed faith and trust in God, she was able to survive and thrive as has her whole family; her grandchildren are college graduates now while she finished schooling part way through high school. But there is more to her success in that she is also an example for the young, encouraging them to obey their parents and keep their values and faith intact, to not make the same mistakes as her; and even to those who do she offers hope through change of heart, faith and diligence in work.
If we have eyes to see it, Heaven and Earth really are full of His Glory.