Folding, unfolding, bending, all to draw near.
The hills and valleys of each fold in a material can be seen as paralleling the consistency of the Creator’s Hand which unfolds creation as innately good.
We can meditate on the creation story as a masterpiece that has a series of ripples which bend and weave through the Maker’s Hands: light shining, land unfolding, water flowing, creatures breeding, Adam breathing. Christ is the Word, the Word which spoke all into existence, “For the Word unfolded himself everywhere, above and below and in the depths…Everything is filled with the knowledge of God” (St. Athanasius, On the Incarnation).
The language of folding and unfolding can be understood as an expression of intimacy between Creator and creature. The Creator is intimately present within His creation—beyond that of the master artist who is considered to be “in his artwork.” This intimacy cannot be fully grasped by the human mind.
The Cambridge Dictionary describes folding as: to cover or wrap; to hold or clasp (someone) closely in one's arms with passion or deep affection.
This intimacy is clearly portrayed in the Incarnation—God taking on flesh and becoming man— “For we were the purpose of his embodiment…our salvation” (St. Athanasius, On the Incarnation).
The Incarnation was the act of God drawing near with an intimacy tangible to us. He had always been near to man, but this was a profound notion that shook the core of the human race. God made it known that He is not some distant God—but a God of mercy.
We finally came to understand (more than just the few prophets who already realized this) that He is compassionate and merciful; because in historical time, humanity witnessed God in the flesh cry out, dance, hunger, laugh, experience anger, sleep, etc.
The creation story of Genesis and the Incarnation can be meditated upon as this overlapping, folding over time. At the moment of the dark descent of man is the proclamation of hope—salvation—the Protoevangelium (that is the “first gospel”—the first instance of good news after the Fall).
This first good news is that God promises to come—to gain back what has been lost and beyond that.
And He kept His promise. He came to gather us closer, to enfold us, to know the depths of His love.
Stay tuned as we dig deeper into the layers in the folding and unfolding of our Collection.