Take a look at my "Mission Statement" (left sidebar). It is one of my favorite Bible passages:
"...Tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders that he has done....that the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, that they may arise and tell them to their children."
Many of my posts might not seem to fit into this framework, especially the political ones. But I believe that in order to leave our children and grandchildren the country we've been blessed with, it's necessary to be diligent and watchful of the peace and democracy we treasure. There may come a day when we no longer have the freedom to openly declare to our children "the glorious deeds of the LORD" and will have to do this in secret.
But I digress. This is a post about bugs.
No, really. I'm not big on bugs, most of the time. But today I ran across a series of photos, taken through a scanning electron microscope, that captivated me. And if we can get past the fact that these are pictures of creatures that normally annoy or injure us, I think they'll captivate you, too, and your children.
So I spent some time trying to analyze why I was drawn to this photo gallery. My thinking went something like this: I LOVE astronomy. I'm about to spend some money on a college-level course in astronomy, not only because it challenges me intellectually, but also because it strengthens my faith in a God mighty enough to do things I can't come close to grasping. In studying astronomy, we look UP and OUT, to the very largest objects, distances and speeds we can fathom. We see only the beginnings of the scope of God's power and imagination, and we bow in awe. Or we should.
But what of small things? For thousands of years, there was a whole world invisible to the human eye, and therefore, the brain. We had no concept of things too small to see. But with the invention of the microscope, and recently, the electron microscope, we can look IN and DOWN. I use the word "down" in a broad sense...not directionally, but in the sense that the Bible speaks of "the depths of the earth":
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth... (Psalm 139:14-15)
Did you ever wonder what it meant that you were woven together "in the depths of the earth"? In this sense, it certainly doesn't mean under the sea, or in the earth's core. It means that you were created at the microscopic, even the molecular level. Here we're looking IN and DOWN into the tiniest parts we can imagine.
And so these glimpses into the microscopic world strengthen my faith in much the same way as astronomy does. God is the God of the smallest things we can imagine and way beyond that. When I was in school, our textbooks taught us that the very tiniest things in the universe were electrons. Open a recent physics book and you'll find that electrons are veritable giants compared to more recently discovered particles. Every time we think we've reached the limits, we find there's something tinier (or in the case of astronomy, farther away.) I love to imagine God just smiling every time there's an announcement that we've now found the limits of something. I think He waits until then to get ready to open up the next level of understanding, even to those who "sit in the seat of scoffers" (Psalm 1).
I thought of these things as I looked at the remarkably detailed photos of insects. I tried not to think of how much a bee sting hurts or what a fly looks like on the flat side of a flyswatter and concentrate on God's amazing (a word way overused but completely appropriate here) intricacy, symmetry, creativity. The tiniest functions, ones we haven't even figured out yet, have fabulously designed structures devoted to them. Eyes are a display of microscopic honeycombs, works of art in themselves. Why should we not bow in awe of these miracles as well?
So pull your kids and grandkids in close, and use these wonderful photos to "tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders that he has done"!
Creepy Crawlies "Up Close and Personal"