Theology aside, the concept of a fractal garden as created by Young’s Holy Spirit character in The Shack fascinates me. I have always loved mathematics. The endless complexities of this world and the amazing order that accompanies these complexities excite my inquisitive mind. Think about pi: a number that never repeats and never ends yet describes such a simple concept. And those paradoxes abound. (By the way, did you know that the string of numbers in my birthday appears 3 times in the first 200,000,000 digits of pi? To find how often your phone number or birthday or some other random string of numbers appear, go here. Keep reading down that page if you are a fan of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.)
And so Mackenzie sees “the mess” from his perspective, but if he could take on a different perspective, he would see a fractal. As a wish-I-had-time-to-garden gardener, I would love to play with plant placement having read this, as I’ve always put the tomatoes with the tomatoes and the peppers with the peppers. Aren’t things supposed to have order from my perspective?
I am reminded of how little we actually see of what God is up to in life. Often I see a dark mass in front of me, but if I could see everything, I would see that that dark mass is only a tiny black thread in a tremendous mosaic of color and form and meaning.
God is a God of order. But He is also the God who knows the order in what we perceive as random, chaotic, hopeless. And so the fractal garden delights me because it reminds me of His character and the fact that He controls the chaos and mess in my life.