…Since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.’ (Romans 1: 20)
I’ve always thought that this verse would be a great excuse for not going out on the field! But in my area of work, I have seen how the education system and sometimes the culture of the area can blind people to actually see, making it impossible for them to know God through creation. To look at creation and see God, seems to me a very obvious thing, but to see God’s hand requires eyes that see beyond, a creativity and questioning nature, things that are repressed and not taught through school or in the home in this area.
Education is not the answer, God is, but when people live in a place where their education teaches them to memorize, teaches them never to ask questions, and teaches them that there is only ever one right answer, this creates people who are blind. They can’t see God, because they can’t see anything. This creates a culture of people who do not look beyond their own world: creation is there, in all it’s majestic beauty, but it is unseen by eyes that cannot see outside the walls of their own creation.
I teach young people, and I try to teach them to see, to ask questions and to break free of the rigid nature of their surroundings. I have seen God break the chains of culture and education in many young people, opening their minds to a world of possibilities. The conversations I have had with students around creation and the way we are made are exciting, to see them making connections between things and seeing how they really are incredibly and wonderfully made. I remember once, as I was helping one young man study for his Biology exam, he said as he was looking at how our eyes work, ‘Our bodies are so amazing- God is such an awesome designer!’ When you put learning and God together in the same place, it has the potential to create transformation and growth in a really exciting way. It is creating young people who are not blind and are open to seeing the world in a different way, and consequently, see God in a different way too.
Story by Carley who is serving at GEMS School in South Asia.