On June 15 of this year, Cambridge University scientist Stephen Hawking (1942-2018) was buried between Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin. A physicist and cosmologist of the highest rank, Hawking is believed to be the greatest scientist of his generation.
As his ashes were lowered into the ground, a recording of his voice was beamed 3,500 light years away toward the nearest black hole in the universe. It symbolically commemorated Hawking’s life-long desire to reach outer space and penetrate the unknown.
In some sense we all long to be heard.
Hawking was heard all over the world, yet he needed the universe to know his voice. Though an atheist, he wanted to reach beyond the stars, whether or not something—or Someone—was listening.
Yet there is Someone listening. Maybe we can’t beam our voices into a black hole, yet the lowliest among us has the privilege of knowing our faintest whisper can reach beyond the known universe and into the very presence of God. It’s a baffling reality.
…he wanted to reach beyond the stars, whether or not something—or Someone—was listening.
The Star Breather isn’t too busy for us.
“Take to Him everything that perplexes the mind. Nothing is too great for Him to bear, for He holds up worlds, He rules over all the affairs of the universe. Nothing that in any way concerns our peace is too small for Him to notice” (Steps to Christ, pg. 100).
The God who is responsible for monitoring the orbits of planets looks forward to hearing the seemingly insignificant concerns of our hearts. “Bow down your ear to me,” pled the psalmist, “hear me, for I am poor and needy” (Psalm 86:1, NKJV).
Ellen White, in the book on practical Christian experience, Steps to Christ, offers this insight: “Through sincere prayer we are brought into connection with the mind of the Infinite. We may have no remarkable evidence at the time that the face of our Redeemer is bending over us in compassion and love, but this is even so. We may not feel His visible touch, but His hand is upon us in love and pitying tenderness” (Ellen White, Steps to Christ, p. 96).
In thousands of years, Hawking’s voice will reach that black hole. Yet before the words roll off our tongues, our prayers have registered at God’s throne.
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16, NIV).