I am twenty-four. My legs are dipped into the pool and the stones against my back are still warm from the heat of the day. The cool night’s breeze is blowing through the palm trees overhead and no, that’s not a cliché, it’s not an exaggeration, because it is really happening. We live on an island.
The stars are easier to see here than they are in New York. She tells me that you can see them better still where she calls home. I cup a hand along my temple, blocking out the bright lights from the building next door, and look up into the darkness. The longer I look, the more I see. They really do twinkle.
Space messes me up sometimes, she says. She lays in bed thinking about the universe and the stars and where does it end? She reminds me that it is constantly moving outwards. Expanding. Infinite.
As we all talk it out together, I am struck with the realization that the best understanding I have of infinity is God. The infinite nature of the universe represents the very essence of the Creator.
And it makes me think of the stillness before the creation when the Spirit of God hovers over the waters. In the beginning, the Word, who will become flesh, is used to speak the cosmos into existence.
Let there be.
So there is.
At His Word, the light cuts through the darkness. At His Word, the sun is given dominion over the day and the moon governs the nights and the stars are hung. At His Word, there is evening and there is morning.
At His Word.
But there is something special about the sixth day, isn’t there?
Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. -Genesis 2:7 (NASB)
Adam, crown of creation, is fashioned. Molded from dust of the ground. Breathed to life. As if Daddy God thought, Not just words this time. This one is different.
So it is with me. Woven together in my mother’s womb, the psalmist says, fearfully and wonderfully made.
But I neglect it too often. The reverence of my creation.
I am so quick to make myself seem less than I am. I pass it off as my kind of humor, all the self-deprecation. But when I dig deep enough, I hit a well of insecurity and shame and doubt.
I am so afraid that perhaps my very DNA is riddled with mistake after mistake and I will never live up to the expectations.
But the Word. The Word who is present at the time of the creation reminds me how the sixth day ends.
God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. -Genesis 1:31 (NASB)
In my haste to pick apart my flaws, I fail to see His goodness.
This heart of mine, stubborn and broken as it may be, is formed by the very hands of the Creator. He creates me intentionally. With purpose. And when He walks through the walls I put up, His light consumes the dark places in me.
Jehovah Shammah, The Lord is There. The Lord is here. Living in me.
The Father only knows to create that which is good. The Father creates me. And not because of my own doing, but because He is my Father, I am good.
I am so very, very good.
I find myself at the water’s edge again, on the last days of my twenty-fifth year. The sun sets and the dusk appears. They’re not quite as bright as they were on my little island but the stars begin to peek through.
See that bright one?, he murmurs. Look to the left of it, about two inches. We planted Hubble to orbit our planet and let it focus on a piece of our night sky just two inches wide. After a few weeks, an image came back to its lens that calculated more than three thousand galaxies. Each galaxy containing hundreds of billions of stars. All in two inches.
I let the vastness settle over me and humility comes right on its heels.
And they’re so far away, he continues, that the light takes a while to get back to us. It takes thirty-three minutes for light to travel the distance between Earth and Jupiter…
When we look up, we’re looking back in time.
Alpha and Omega.
He is the beginning and end. Past and present. Future.
“Because time itself is like a spiral, something special happens on your birthday each year: The same energy that God invested in you at birth is present once again.” -Menachem Mendel Schneerson