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Blessed are those who mourn

Flash floods of tears, torrents of them,

Erode cruel canyons, exposing

Long forgotten strata of life

Laid down in the peaceful decades:

A badlands beauty. The same sun

That decorates each day with colors

From arroyos and mesas, also shows

Every old scar and cut of lament.

Weeping washes the wounds clean

And leaves them to heal, which always

Takes an age or two. No pain

Is ugly in past tense. Under

The Mercy every hurt is a fossil

Link in the great chain of becoming.

Pick and shovel prayers often

Turn them up in valleys of death.

Writer Annie Dillard is an exegete of creation in the same way John Calvin was an exegete of Holy Scripture. The passion and intelligence Calvin brought to Moses, Isaiah, and Paul, she brings to muskrats and mockingbirds. She reads the book of creation with the care and intensity of a skilled textual critic, probing and questioning, teasing out, with all the tools of mind and spirit at hand, the author's meaning.

Calvin was not indifferent to creation. ...

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