I just read a wonderful article by David Klinghoffer called A Quality of “Shyness” in the Evidence for Intelligent Design.
He weaves a beautiful essay about a saying from the Talmud:
Wherever you find mention of the greatness of the Holy One, Blessed Be He, there you will also find mention of his humility.
I feel as if my head and heart have both been filled with wonderful stuff to ponder and praise God for! Here are my favorite bits:
The purpose of setting aside weekday activities on the Sabbath is to make a space where God will feel comfortable and — so to speak — unafraid of joining with us in our homes in a most intimate fashion. All the frenetic driving, shopping, cellphone-talking and Internet-surfing we do the rest of the week would absolutely poison such an atmosphere.
The God of the Bible … is a personality and, just as people can have seemingly discordant traits, apparently in contradiction to other traits they display to us, God too has characteristics that you might not expect. Among them is the quality, surprising to find in the transcendent source of all existence, of being rather shy.
This may explain a lot of things. For example, why so much of the Bible gives a superficial impression of simplicity, even primitiveness or dry legalism. Impatient readers assume that’s all there is to it, never realizing what lies beneath the surface but that can only be uncovered by subtle probing of hints and nuances, hidden and delicate pointers that give way suddenly, unexpectedly on limitless vistas of wisdom from another world.
It may, finally, explain why the evidence of nature’s design is elusive to lots of people. Often we wonder why Darwinists can never seem to get it. They champ and cry and try to shout us down with taunts that we are “creationists.”
We try to explain to them that their materialism keeps them trotting in a closed logical circle where Darwinian evolution, the rule of blind, dumb forces over all nature, must explain life’s history because only blind, dumb forces are allowed to be adduced in explanation of anything.
They can never seem to quiet themselves down and open up to the possibility that science itself suggests other influences at play in life’s development. In truth, that evidence is subtle. It can’t be heard over a lot of noise, the hubbub created chiefly by our fears that embracing unfashionable ideas may endanger our personal prestige.
It takes patience and study to see any of this. … It’s a “still small voice,” hardly more than that. Furiously gesturing to your own creativity would be immodest, the opposite of humble — not God’s style at all. … Just what you might expect from a deity who would think up an idea like the Sabbath as the distinctive medium where he chooses to meet human beings up close.
Speaking only for myself, this is one thing about intelligent design that makes it so satisfying, in contrast to other ways of construing the relevant evidence. It’s what makes it possible to be — adapting Richard Dawkin’s famous phrase — an intellectually fulfilled theist.