A 'God box' is what my son has dubbed his collections of bird's eggs, crab shells, fossil fragments, seaweed filaments, dried leaves, small mammal skulls, moth's wings and many more besides; all enclosed in a framed case, normally hung on a wall.
Gerard Manley Hopkins would have been an enthusiast, 'Glory be to God for dappled things...' and
'As kingfishers catch fire and dragonflies draw flame' are lines that spring to mind when one looks closely at Matthew's 'God boxes'.
A carefully collected and arrayed cluster of natural objects that emphasises that the world around us was created by a Supreme Spirit; the details in a humming bird's nest, the intricacy of a coral fragment and the detail contained in the skeleton of a sea horse - all show the glory of God, not Darwin, and all are displayed in the Melbourne home of a boy that was, thank God, brought up in the wild countryside of Herefordshire and then West Wales.
The 'God box' concept has elements of Victorian England about it; the desire to capture the essence of creation in its most basic, natural form, the craving to capture the natural world in an alien framework of wood and glass - but, it works and you cannot but marvel at the detail and variety that God has laid before us, a cornucopia of intricate and beautiful design.
|The beauty of God's vision for His world, enclosed in a glass cabinet|