In which we outlive the universe

by Craig on September 23, 2011


We are like all we see.
We are unlike all we see.

Psalm 8:5-7

When I see your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and stars that you set in place…

Sun, moon, stars, sky, air, trees, dirt, worms, molecules, bricks, birds, breezes.

What is man that you are mindful of him,
and a son of man that you care for him?

Sharing much but distinct, and higher than it all.

Yet you have made him little less than a god,
crowned him with glory and honor.
You have given him rule over the works of your hands,
put all things at his feet

The Old Testament we have is flavored by Hebrew, and the Septuagint, the Greek translation of it. The Hebrew word here is



the word, though not the name, for “God” or sometimes “the gods” or heavenly beings.  The Greek version translated אֱלֹהִים (elohim) as “angel” and most translations follow suit. I don’t argue with either. The thing is, it seems God created human life almost at the level of heavenly life.

But not permanently…
as Sara is about to experience.

She will know as she is known. (1Cor 13:12)

But even in this life, our mind and soul grasp things above instinct and nature…
nothing else on this miraculous blue dot, suspended in space, can do this.

It’s a hint…

that the end of earthly existence…
is to share the fate of the things around me…
but also. much. more.

Everything other than humanity has no choice other than to follow instincts or nature.
We alone can choose either to sink below or rise above nature and instinct.

A hint…

that we, who are more than just body…
must have a fate unlike the things around us.

Even the Universe, when its existence ends, will not “know” of its end.
As great as it is, all the created Cosmos lacks what we have.
We know that we exist…we dream of further existence.

We can conceive of the universe…
but it can’t conceive of us…
and even that simple ability…
makes us far superior to the universe.


“Man is but a reed, the most feeble thing in nature. But he is a thinking reed. The entire universe need not arm itself to crush a vapor. A drop of water suffices to kill him. But, if the universe were to crush him, man would still be more noble than that which killed him. Because he knows that he dies, and the advantage which the universe has over him. The universe knows nothing of this.” (Blaise Pascal)

The universe and all within it are dying…never to return…

except I think…

that one thing in the universe…

which is greater than the universe…


and Sara…

O greater than the universe Sara…

you are about to sleep…

and then awaken…

in resplendent glory…

My. Heart. Still. Breaks…

but I smile for that.



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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Victoria September 23, 2011 at 10:31 am

I like all of this so much, but the end really made me smile too. Thanks for that.


Craig September 25, 2011 at 10:55 am

and that last line Victoria? It is become a reality. Sara has closed her eyes, and awoken to that resplendent glory. And there are tears in my eyes as I write this – but they’re different from the ones of previous weeks. Sara is home now. God Bless you Victoria.


Martha Orlando September 23, 2011 at 11:56 am

“We can conceive of the universe…
but it can’t conceive of us…
and even that simple ability…
makes us far superior to the universe.”
Craig, this thought had never occurred to me until I read it just now on your blog. Far superior to the universe – just wow!!! So overjoyed knowing God is mindful of us all.


Craig September 25, 2011 at 10:57 am

that’s an amazing thought isn’t it Martha, we always think of the universe so vast, so glorious, and at one time or another we all thought it was infinite. But it’s less than we are. It’s bigger but it’s less. God Bless you Martha!


Dawn September 23, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Dear Craig,

This one goes off to chess-playing (and, yes, beating) son! Truly a theologically scientific masterpiece. I’m also going to send it to my hospice doctor friend who is a devote Christian and a genius, I think. He’ll LOVE it!

Bless you,


Craig September 25, 2011 at 10:59 am

and off it goes to your boy – the thinker – the “Knight to King four checkmate son”. God gets all the credit for this. If he is in two years, and hasn’t done what he is done, I have nothing, no inspiration, and only the most common of words. Thank you Dawn, and God bless you.


Cora September 23, 2011 at 4:27 pm

I can only say WOW! No words. Only worship here.


Craig September 25, 2011 at 5:36 pm

Cora. just. sad. more tomorrow. God bless.


Andrea Dawn September 23, 2011 at 6:44 pm

You have raised some very thought-provoking points here, Craig. Beautifully written.


Craig September 25, 2011 at 5:36 pm

I have nothing in me right now Andrea Dawn – just sad – I’d say more – but just sad.


Joyce L Gibson September 24, 2011 at 12:45 am

Oh, my grandson, what wonder and reverence you have ignited!


Craig September 25, 2011 at 5:38 pm

Grandma J, thank you, you know how much your opinion means to me. I’d say more, but Sara has gone home, I’m sad. I’m sad. God bless you!!


Debbie September 24, 2011 at 7:49 pm

What a wonderful piece of art work, Craig! And loving the response of everyone. :) Thank you for sharing and for writing and for doing what He asks you to! God bless you and keep you this weekend.


Craig September 25, 2011 at 5:39 pm

Debbie, more tomorrow, but Sara is with the Father now, I have little in me. God bless.


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