Sunday, April 20, 2014

Overview Effect

Forty years ago in this season of forty days
Three men took that first trip 
to explore the glowing ball in the sky.
Three very different men 
with the same doubts, courage, and curiosity.
They achieved their mission, 
but came back with a revelation 
no one at NASA had predicted.
Not with photos of the moon, 
but when they turned back toward earth, 
toward this beautiful blue marble we call home.
Science and faith collided, 
both men and boys in an instant. 
Caught up in the magic and beauty of this planet 
floating in an infinite expanse 
while knowing the billions of scientific factors 
ordering it’s systems 
and holding the very breath of their loved ones so far away.  
So small in this vast echo of silent space.
the “overview effect.”
To know 
this is the only planet that has drinkable, life sustaining water 
paired with this brilliant painting before them of blue and turquoise.
To understand 
the delicate balance of temperatures, climates and oxygen levels 
paled in comparison to seeing this faint, fragile line 
hugging the earth like a thin snow globe glass that could shatter to pieces.
There’s a difference between a mind clouded 
with the science of what makes a lightning storm 
and the clarity of a view above the clouds themselves.
These men came home with a peace dressed in a mystery.
New truths, 
new doubts, 
bonding like the brothers they had become.
New answers brought more questions.
They began their descent, 
noting the boundaries that scarred this shared land of ours.
Continents, countries, cities, even families 
divided by walls of brick and opinions.
But whatever language we speak, 
whatever landscape we say good morning to, 
whatever views we behold with our eyes 
or hold onto in our minds, 
we all look up to share 
the same sun, moon, and stars.

 We push each other away. 
We find each other. 
We laugh, We grieve. We strive. 
We believe. We doubt.

In the grit and gravel of this day to day world, 
We wander these roads leading somewhere, 
how easily  we lose site 
of the overview effect.
why this planet? 
Why this tiny blue marble in a vast array of planets 
and galaxies in the universe? 
You are giving us space, 
giving us all this room, to doubt. 
Calling us to push away for a few moments 
to rediscover what we’re all really chasing.

Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” John 20:27 

"It is unexpected, but extraordinarily convincing, that the one absolutely unequivocal statement, in the whole Gospel, of the Divinity of Jesus should come from Doubting Thomas. It is the only place where the word 'God' is used of him without qualification of any kind, and in the most unambiguous form of words. And this must be said, not ecstatically, or with a cry of astonishment, but with flat conviction, as of one acknowledging irrefragable evidence: '2 + 2 = 4', 'That is the sun in the sky,' 'You are my Lord and my God.'"  Dorothy Sayers