Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.
-Psalm 36:5 (NIV)
I grew up looking up at the stars. The Milky Way, that marvelous white path in the darkest of skies, was the last image that I would see before falling asleep outside on summer nights. At one point in my life, though, the night sky began to feel different—I was overwhelmed by it. I was scared of the immensity of the universe. It is so limitless, so unknown, so powerful, so ever present, so unpredictable; and in contrast I was and am so small and insignificant. The universe made me feel the same way God did. God was infinite, I was and am finite. Looking at the stars reminded me of my own finiteness. It made me face the reality that my life will end one day, while the universe will remain.
I can’t change that fact, but I have been able to change the way I understand it. Now I see myself as a part of the universe, a minuscule fraction but still an undeniable part of the creation that our loving God sustains with Her Spirit. Yes, death is inevitable, but now I live my life in the most authentic, meaningful way that I can. Having accepted my finiteness, and I can admire the stars knowing that I will someday return to them.
About the Author
Esther Baruja, native of Paraguay, has a Master in Divinity from ISEDET Seminary in Argentina and Chicago Theological Seminary. Esther's focus is theological-based liberation from multi-layer oppressions at the intersections of race, class and gender. She lives in Cleveland, where she is pastoring at Archwood UCC church in Brooklyn Centre.