Making Room for Immensities

Last night, I stumbled on something that expanded my view, all while I was checking the weather. You know when you log onto the Weather app, and tons of videos pop up below, all vying for attention? This time, the video distractions won as I was intrigued by the phrase, “Auroras on Jupiter”, along with a crisp preview of a Hubble photograph.

Clickbait sucker that I am, I succumbed to the distraction and to my amazement, a slideshow appeared of auroras (as in, aurora borealis - the northern lights) dancing over the entirety of Jupiter’s northern hemisphere, all courtesy of our friend, the Hubble space telescope.

view the slideshow here!

Now, I call the Hubble a friend because he (for whatever reason, I personify Hubble as a he) has made visible that which was previously invisible, he has expanded our perceptions, and he has photographed things which, by the time they become actually visible to our eyes from earth, will be pieces of long past history.

After I stumbled upon the fantastic photos of Jupiter and her auroras, I dug for more - what else has Hubble captured for our eyes? I know I have seen them before, in passing, but I really had never spent time digging through the beauty of it all. What a wonderful world we live in when a a quick Google search can rally for us the most beautiful, far-reaching photos of the universe!

I stumbled upon one photograph (above) called “Mystic Mountain” - a photograph of a pillar of gas and energy three light-years tall! Another one called the “Pillars of Creation” shows me that the Trinity is a pattern present all across the universe. The Carina Nebula reminds me of the most beautiful watercolor modernist painting I could ever hope to see. “The Eye of God” speaks of an ever present, omniscient being watching over us. And galaxy clusters speak to how very small we are here in the Milky Way.

And these viewings spur something deep in my soul. How glorious that I get to look up into the sky and feel gratitude and awe, not fear. I can find hope in the fact that I believe that at the very beginning of it all, God was there; that he was with us, “before the worlds began to be. He is alpha and omega, He the source, the ending.” I have no idea how it happened or is happening, but I know Him to be true. And my affections roll up in praise, in awe, in glory.

The whole things reminds me that we are but one piece of the puzzle. Imagine a giant jigsaw puzzle, overtaking your entire dining room table. In life, all we have is one piece with the rest of the puzzle scattered confusingly over the entire table - some pieces upside-right, some turned over, some fallen on the floor. Every once and a while we get glimpses of what we think the whole thing could look like when put together correctly, but we are holding only one small visible piece.

Our problems with life come when we think the one piece in our hand is all that is there. Hubble photos are my glimpse at the other pieces put together. They allow me to, for a brief moment, see a tiny peek into the expanse of the immensity of it all. And they give me hope.

Scroll through this slideshow. Let the images get to your heart. And let your soul find awe and completeness at this glimpse into eternity.