On the Divinity of Insignificance

One time—back when I had a fast car and thoughts that raced for miles—I drove out to a desert place, looked up into a night sky drunk with stars and thought, God, what were you thinking when you placed us here? Why, out of all your universe, impossibly vast, this unremarkable galaxy, and within it—exiled to the outskirts, on the outer reaches of one spiral arm—a small planet, circling aimlessly ’round a middling star? How my faith would blossom in the brilliance of the Milky Way; that’s where the action is! What must the swells there think, looking out at us from the Big City, at the center of things? We must seem but bumpkins on our lonely little rock, a backwoods joke, a sorry lot.

Oh God, if you exist, why put us here?

And then a thought came to me, like a wind-borne whisper on that summer night—the muckety-mucks are at the center, yes; but not at the heart. I had asked, how might our world appear from the vantage point of one in the grandest star-castle in all that riot of light?

And the answer was, not much different, really, than Nazareth must have seemed when viewed from Rome.

Jess Lederman