Impossible to see love with a microscope

Lorraine Murray
Lorraine Murray

Whenever I take a walk in my neighborhood, I carry my phone, so I can sneak up on wildlife. It may be a bumblebee foraging for pollen or a butterfly dancing upon a flower. Yesterday, I took a photo of a chipmunk, perched on a stone wall, calling for a mate.

Some claim all the birds and beasts, flowers and trees, stars and planets are the result of chance. But when we look at the intricacy of the human body, the pumping of blood through veins and arteries, the autonomic nervous system that controls our breathing, it is ludicrous to point to chance.

Envision admiring a magnificent sculpture, such as Michelangelo’s famous David, and declaring: “This statue had no designer; it is the result of chance.”

Materialists say human beings are merely a collection of cells. They deny the human soul, because it can’t be seen under a microscope. As a former atheist myself, I recall my cherished mantra was “Seeing is believing.”

But the great poets didn’t write about mere flesh and blood, but about love, sacrifice, joy, hope and faith. We can’t perceive these abstractions with our senses, but they give life meaning.

Artists depict the world to convey a sense of mystery, which goes far beyond physical matter. The Mona Lisa isn’t just a depiction of the body of a smiling woman, but rather an image that incites wonder and curiosity.

Physicist Michael Guillen describes himself as a former atheist, whose core assumption was “Seeing is believing,” until he discovered that, as a physicist, he had to believe in a world he mostly couldn’t see.

In a column in “The Wall Street Journal,” he writes, “When I learned that 95 percent of the cosmos is invisible, consisting of ‘dark matter’ and ‘dark energy,’ names for things we don’t understand, that core assumption became untenable.”

Long ago, someone said, “They have ears, but they don’t hear. They have eyes, but they don’t see.” That someone was Christ, referring to people who are blind and deaf to the deeper realities of life, such as believing in God.

They say there are no atheists in foxholes, which makes sense, because the thought of non-existence after death can be terrifying, as it should be.

When I envision a desperate person on the roof of a building, planning to jump, I picture a believer successfully changing her mind. After all, if she’s just a collection of cells that entered the universe by chance, how can we convince her not to jump?

Suicidal people need reminding that they are inherently valuable and deeply loved. That inherent value comes from being made in the image and likeness of God. And even though we can’t see love under a microscope, the words “I love you” can save a desperate person.

Christ said, “I have come that they may have life and may have it more abundantly.” Abundant life means savoring the joys of nature, and the wonders of art and poetry. It includes the truth of Christ’s words that “Man does not live by bread alone.”

Human beings live on hope and faith, love and joy, courage and honor. We live by beliefs that far exceed molecules and cells. We are alive because a grand designer called God created us out of love.

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