When I look at the stars….

Photograph courtesy NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI

Earlier this summer, NASA released images from the James Webb Telescope (you can find them here). The pictures are awesome in the oldest sense of the word, in no small part because they reveal, as one colleague put it, that “the universe is vast, incredibly old, absolutely unknowable in its entirety.”
It can be so easy to forget just how utterly…small we are. We can get so wrapped up in our own concerns and passions, so convinced that everything depends upon us, and what we do (or what we don’t do). And then we look to the stars, and remember that we are just one small speck of dust in a vast creation.
The Psalmist says it thus:

       When I look up at the heavens,
                  At the work of Love’s creation,
                  At the infinite variety of your Plan,
       What is woman that You rejoice in her,
       And man that You do delight in him?

When we get out of our own heads for a second, that question takes on new life: 

Why does God care about something as small as us? 

My own life experience tells me that we have done nothing to deserve such consideration—we humans are nowhere near perfect, and the witness of God’s Word makes it clear that this is a feature, not a bug, when it comes to the problem of humanity.

And yet, here we are. Loved by our Creator. Made in God’s Image, even.  For a purpose.
The Psalmist again:

 You have made us co-creators of the earth!
                  Guardians of the planet!
                  To care for all your creatures,
                  To tend the land, the sea, and the air we breathe;
                  All that You have made, You have placed in our hands.

We don’t have all of the answers, but trust me on this one: We don’t need to know why in order to do something that contributes to God’s vision for this broken, hurting world. We just have to care enough to try. At our best, when we trust in God, we are capable of so much good.  So look at the stars. Contemplate with gratitude the gift of being small. And then go out and share your love with the world this week. I will be right beside you, doing the same.


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