Under the dome of the planetarium I grasped for the universe and the God who holds it in his hands, my tiny palm upturned to receive… under the night sky.
My eyes, I realized, so inadequate to take in the world around me, while this God, so infinite, could crush me. But he doesn’t.
He loved so he chose creation out of man’s destruction in the garden. A story he knew he would create before the formless was formed.
Under Orion’s Belt in the night sky there is a nebula, I understand, called Messier 42. Full of helium and hydrogen, shaping stars in the chaos, order in the dust cloud brings creation during destruction.
On Enceladus, a moon of Saturn, a volcano pulses water and ice instead of lava out of a frozen tundra of -330 degrees Fahrenheit. And Venus can reach temperatures of 900 degrees Fahrenheit while life microbes may exist on Mars.
All the while I live on this spinning orb that is tilted at the perfect angle so the sun doesn’t burn me to death, in the exact location in relation to the moon for tidal flow. Everything we need for existence clasped in the hands of mother earth.
When I think of God The Creator, I anthropomorphically picture Him breathing the same air I breathe and eating salads, drinking water, inhaling oxygen in lungs like mine, only more magnificent.
Then I learn about solar systems and how the nearest star would take over 10,000 years to visit, and then listen to the sound of the spinning rings on Saturn captured by the Cassini spacecraft.
And there are more stars than I can see.
Many more stars-
As many as 10^24 of them-
And I am small.
Hazardous terrain is not perilous to Him. He does not need anything from this earth or Neptune or Pluto. He is Other.
Reaching, with a pinch, he could enclose that cavern (Valles Marineris) on Mars that’s almost four times the depth of the Grand Canyon. He could blink and the universe could expand or contract and he remains the same.
I am clay in my potter’s hands. He forms me, still forming me, as the stars and the planets and the space in between. He breathes life and defines life, because he is Life- us made in his image- in the image of the I AM.
And I groan to be who I was intended to be, in communion with the living God, breathing air the eternal breathed -longing, in expectation and bursting with potential like the cosmos in His hands.
I try to grasp how the universe expands and contracts in labor pains, at one time a point in His mouth, now ever growing until He returns to set it right again.
I raise my tiny palm to the night sky in worship, still discovering the God who discovered me before the foundations of the world.
Isn’t discovery a gift? I ask myself. The act of not knowing and asking, probing, always wondering, then the revelation of what is or always has been and what I haven’t known. It is a gift from him-
Like Mary at Jesus’ feet when he visited her home and Jesus said to her sister, Martha, “There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her (Luke 10:42).” There is beauty in the gift of keeping the discovery. He gives us the privilege of hiding it away and mulling it over or sharing it with other explorers, grasping for purpose in this universe.
If I could truly grapple how big my God is, then my vices and trials would appear insignificant. Mary discovered this. If He, larger than me, hangs the earth over nothing (Job 26:7 NLT) and he holds all existence together like “a head does a body (John 1:3-5 The Message)” and if he made “The world to be lived in (Isaiah 45:18 NLT),” then I should live the rest of my days with the purpose of discovering Him in the world- in
the caress of my husband’s hands,
the magnificence of the mountains,
the serene sound of waves on a beach,
the beauty of the stars in a country sky,
the craftsmanship in moving limbs,
the intricate details on the back of a spider,
the giganticness of the continents,
the tremble of my lips as I cry,
the treasure found after a bitter season-
Palms raised, always raised, in expectation and discovery of his creation in me- my fulfillment because he became an oxygen-breathing, goose bump wearing, blood-pumping, food-eating human to hug creation to himself.