Details

I was working on details for my space opera tonight. Technicans and engineers, types and numbers. Basically, if the ship my tale is set on really existed, who would be on it and how many of them would there be.
After coming up with some extensive lists, I convinced myself to ignore the fact that eighty-something engineers and almost as many technicians would draw a pretty hefty paycheck.
So what if I’m not sure what the merchants are shipping that they can afford to hire these mercenaries?
At some point the details kill the story.
Or, at least, the details kill the story when you have as little imagination as me.
God is a God of details, you know.
Atoms and elements have design specifications running almost into infinity, with every position of every quark, and its effect on every other quark, mapped out over the course of history.
And that’s just the specifications.
The implications are much greater, with six protons, six electrons and some number of neutrons resulting in one atom of a ubiquitous element called carbon, which, combined with the one proton and one electron of hydrogen, the eight protons and eight electrons of oxygen, and some number of other protons, electrons and probably neutrons configured into various other elements, can form into chitin.
Get enough of that together and you can make a butterfly’s wings, IF you know how to lay out all the tubules, exoskeletal supports, veins, and so on. And you’ll still have to figure out the scales on the wings, and whether their color comes from pigmentation or surface details that interfere with and refract various wavelengths of light (rather than absorbing some and reflecting others). You’ll probably need an artist to design the color pattern for you, too, unless you are one.
This is probably confusing. Just look up structural coloration.
No. Seriously. Do it. It’s awesome.
You should probably check out the Tyndall effect too while you’re at it.
It makes the sky blue. And the sea. And some people’s eyes.
My point?
Reality is made of tiny Legos. That’s my point. It’s amazing.
Did you not notice that?
Perfectly crafted interlocking building blocks capable of forming myriad, countless wonders.
Each one is a precisely mapped and specified detail, all coming together to form the story that we know as reality.
Though there are things beyond the atomic, too. Beyond the material.
But I won’t get into those tonight. I was dealing with technicians and engineers and all the things they play with to make a spacecraft.
Why space?
Why countless stars formed from countless atoms, burning with an unimaginable fury multiplied ten-billion-to-the-millionth-power times over in a cosmic dance so grand that most of it we can’t even see because it is hidden behind the stuff we can?
It’s impossibly huge, this universe, and no number of repeated “impossibly”s will convey just how much of an understatement that is.
And all that, every single detail of it, mapped out and determined, carefully laid out to tell a story.
What is the point of this story? Or at least part of it?
The star part.
Perhaps that God is unimaginably huge, bigger than the incomprehensible bigness that is the universe.
Also that He loves making things that interlock and work together to create greater things.
I could probably make an argument that Legos are one of His favorite toys, too, but it would be wildly speculative.
Why would a God that big care about us?
Most Science Fiction seems to conclude that He wouldn’t, if it even accepts the idea that He exists at all.
Although the same God who made every planet including Earth also made quarks, and decided that the spin of each of those impossibly tiny things should matter somehow to the functioning of everything larger, including suns.
We ARE larger than quarks, you know.
And sparrows. We’re apparently more important than them, too.
Although to believe that, you also have to believe some other fairly controversial things.
Some of those things are pretty counterintuitive, like the fact that His bigness is not what He’s really proud of.
Yeah he made the universe and all the stars in it just to show how great He is,
how much more He has going on than this one tiny blue planet,
but then He says that is NOT the fullness of His glory.
No, the fullness of His glory is that He can leave all that, and become tiny…
As tiny as us…
Exactly as tiny as us…
And then mark His own fall on our behalf so that every tiny one of us can somehow have the bigness that made the universe living inside us,
if we just believe.
The contrast level of this is beyond me. It is humility the absolute, not the human virtue residing somewhere on a continuum.
Pride has no place in it. Pride could never make something as big as the universe and still care about the needs of a few ambulatory specks-of-dust.
It is absolute selflessness.
And THIS is what God declares as the fullness of His glory, the thing most important and wonderful about Himself.
That He will bleed for those who are NOTHING compared to Himself.
I can’t get over this.
I pray that I never will.

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