In Gilead, how does John Ames III express the way he cares about God, salvation and the tenets of his faith?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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It is clear from the way that John Ames talks about his faith and his understanding of God that it is central to his life, and as much a part of him as oxygen or blood. Where this is shown most movingly in the numerous ways that John Ames finds that nature around him is beautiful because it is God's creation. Note, for example, the following quote, drawn from near the end of his narrative:

It has seemed to me sometimes as though God breathes on this poor grey ember of Creation and it turns to radiance--for a moment or a year or the span of a life. And then it sinks back into itself again, and no one would know it had anything to do with fire, or light... But the Lord is more constant and far more extravagant than it seems to imply. Wherever you turn your eyes the world can shine like transfiguration.

This is just one example from the text that explores how the faith of John Ames directs his entire worldview and way of looking at the world around him. This quote describes the way that seeing beauty in nature, or seeing "transfiguration," is a state of mind rather than anything to do with the object or scene that is being viewed. For John Ames, his relationship with God enables him, at times, to catch glimpses of this "transfiguration" in nature, and it is clear that this reveals his own love of God and his theology. For John Ames, God is all around him, and his beauty is to be seen with every glance. This suggests a relationship with God that is at once both intimate and also incredibly powerful. 

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