“God sits above the circle of the earth. The people below seem like grasshoppers to him! He spreads out the heavens like a curtain and makes his tent from them.” (Isaiah 40:22 NLT)
“He reveals deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness, And light dwells with Him.” (Daniel 2:22 NKJV)
Where Twinkle Found Herself When She Wandered
Photo by dario-bronnima on Unsplash
Twinkle’s Charade and the Milky Way
That afternoon, after lessons at the celestial halls ended, Twinkle told Sparkle to go on ahead home with their neighbors, the Glimmer Twins. She hung back, giving the appearance of organizing her desk long after her other classmates had left. “May I help you close up the map vistas, Maester?” She finally said, ending the charade.
“Certainly!” He replied, seeming to work distractedly on a new star vista map but, in fact, engaging in a charade of his own. He had intentionally left the vistas open, especially the ones which displayed the Milky Way’s elegant spiral structure and the two major arms, which dominate it. They wrap off the ends of the major bar of stars where the Celestial Halls and its surrounding stellar neighborhoods were located. As her wise tutor expected, Twinkle was eventually transfixed by the partial arm of cosmic matter which Earth’s astronomers had named the Orion Arm or Orion spur. She did not notice her teacher’s approach until he spoke again, just behind her.
“Almost twenty centuries and twenty more years of earth-time, after the great Mystery has unfolded, Earth’s star-scholars name the two major arms of our Galaxy, Scutum-Centaurus and Perseus.” He added, mildly amused, “They previously thought it had four arms, since they were including the two minor arms of gas and star-forming activity which they called the Norma and the Sagittarius arms. Of course, both young and old stars populate the major two.”****
Unsplash Photo by Guillermo Ferla and NASA photo of Milky Way Spiral Arms by Max-Planck Gesellschaft
Stepping aside for her tutor to stand next to her in front of the breath-taking scene, Twinkle eventually replied, “Earth’s star-scholars are amazing, don’t you think, Maester? It’s wonderful that they have figured out so much, confined as they are to the Earth.” Her gaze now focussed on the place in the Orion arm where Earth circled the sun, along with all the other orbiting entities of that solar system.
“Oh, the Father has often pulled back the eternal curtain to let us see some of the machines mankind has launched in time and space, which have eyes for earth’s stargazers to see. These fly way out in their solar system and even beyond, sending back pictures until they burn out like a dead star!”
A spark of curiosity involuntarily reached out from Twinkle and traced a path on the vista towards the Orion spur. Her tutor sent out rays of his own which intercepted her plotting efforts by reorienting a band of interstellar dust to overlay the intriguing path to Earth. It was the very one which the Father of Lights had charted for her Father, Bright Star.
Turning to face her, Maester Star spoke pointedly, “Your father has, no doubt, been detected by Earth’s Magi by now, Twinkle. To them he appears merely as a tiny spec, barely visible to their paltry instruments. They do not yet know at what they stare thru their vision tubes and water mirrors.” Turning back to focus on where the Orion Arm enshrouded the tiny blue spec as it circled the sun in its solar system, he added, “If they only knew the full meaning of what is about to happen…but they know enough.”
Unsplash Photo by Artur Aldyrkhanov. (body of water reflecting night sky)
“It’s hard to think of father as a tiny anything.” Twinkle replied, totally missing her tutor’s efforts at redirecting her focus.
“Yet he was a young star once too, just as you are.” He replied. “The Heavenly Father of Lights looks not on the outside. He sees what we are from within. The potential for greatness completely hangs on our pursuit of His beauty, His light, and His loving Lordship over everything, for all eternity. This made your father, Bright, the shining star chosen for this Mission of missions. He seeks, above all things, the glory of the Father’s righteous Kingdom of love on the earth.”
Twinkle was silent.
“Your glow has taken on a disturbing shade, recently Twinkle. Beware; darkness lurks where we let the Father’s light in us grow dim.” With that, the sage star closed the curtain on the vista of the Milky Way galaxy and, bidding Twinkle a night full of the Lord’s glory, he returned to his task.
Twinkle tried to keep herself from fuming on the way home. “I just want to show that Lux…Wouldn’t it be grand if Dad and I came streaming back together from the mission on earth! And I would get to see how the Father enters into Earth’s time and space, like father said He would! That would show Lux!.” She tried but failed to recall the intergalactic course and markers on the vista map. Dejected she took the long way home, gliding intentionally by the holy portal where the shining ones could still be seen winging their way on the Father’s missions, from the Throne Room down to earth. They crossed centuries and epochs in moments.
Watching the marvelous mighty ones, aglow with God’s light and power, it suddenly dawned on Twinkle that there would be no going or glowing to earth unless she first went to the Throne Room. She remembered her mother’s invitation of the previous night— ‘Why don’t we seek audience with the Most High Himself? You know His ears are open to the cry of all He has made.’ A plan began to form as her light further dimmed. “The Father’s Light is so powerful, I bet I wouldn’t have to stay in the Throne Room for too long before I absorb enough light to shoot my way down to earth. Mom did say, ‘He freely gives…’” she rationalized.
Shining Star noticed her daughter’s shadowed visage as she came in that evening. She listened keenly to Twinkle’s renewed interest in going to the Throne Room, and agreed to escort her there, whatever the reason, since nearness to the Father always works good.
Twinkle’s Plan to Wander is Transformed By Love’s Encounter
Twinkle could not believe where she was: Her conversation with her mother, was resulting in a visit with the Lord God of the Heavenly Hosts Himself! She always wondered how it all worked; how the divine Eternal God could make time to hear any being, let alone a tiny star like herself, among the hundreds of billions of the Milky Way and beyond. He even made time to receive accountability from the fallen ones, like the one who asked for permission to try one of God’s faithful servants on earth, Job.*Her father had always said, “Such things are too wonderful for me, let alone for you, my young Twinkle!”
The seeming contradiction, that though God was inconceivably High and enthroned in holy, unapproachable Light, yet was always accessible to the least, who calls on Him in diligence and sincerity, dawned increasingly on Twinkle as she and her mother drew near the Throne Room. In a manner which Twinkle could not explain, her plan to ‘go rogue’ started to fade out of her mind like a setting star over a planet’s horizon at end of a day’s rotation. It seemed everything that she feared would cause her to implode or disintegrate in God’s presence, increasingly diminished, as she and Shining Star stepped onto the Shining Sea. ***
Photo on Unsplash by Johny Goerend (Aurora Borealis)
Though she did not know it, Twinkle’s eyes were mercifully shielded as she scanned the scene, ‘No four-faced cherubim visible today; nowhere to be seen the many-eyed seraphim. Most important, there were no human-like arms beneath the wings of the cherubim to bring out purifying hot coals to purge impurity from the lips of God’s messengers and prophets; no elders casting crowns…’** Twinkle’s relief was immense!
She was particularly happy, when she considered what had been her original plan for this visit—to absorb holy light from God, to serve her selfish ends. Thinking of the Divine Trinity as though He were some earth-machine, generating energy which she could pull and selfishly use, suddenly produced a deep sorrow in her. The travesty of casting God’s loving gift to stars and angels, in such a light, weighed on the young star like a lode-stone straining to turn her core back to right orientation. Though she encountered no cherubim hands bearing purifying coals towards her, Twinkle felt a burning at her core which she had no desire to resist. She welcomed it, and weeping stellar tears, the young star experienced what repentance stars can know.
As Twinkle and her mother, Shining Starr, continued towards the Holy Throne of God, they felt the awe and the fear, but even more strongly, His overwhelming love for them. Her mother’s light filled to a brilliant amber burst and she radiated warmth and love like Twinkle had never noticed before. Twinkle felt it too; now cleansed, she didn’t know if she wanted to laugh or cry, as liquid love washed over her in God’s presence.
She opened her mouth to try and voice her many queries, some carefully prepared, others just the variety that always filled her busy mind. Even as she tried to form the words, The Eternal God-Head already completely understood her. The Triune One shrouded His glory for the two stars and it became clear to Twinkle and her mother as well, how her best intentions and curious inquiries had gotten twisted and hardened into a selfish, vainglorious plot to steal His glory!! In fact, He knew all that was hidden in the core of her being. As soon as she had acknowledged it, this same Light that had exposed her shame, had also immediately cleansed her. His pure light refilled her to her tips.
Photo on Unsplash by Rodion Kutsaiev
This exposure to God’s love transformed and brought forth the good desires in Twinkle ’s heart like a pure jewel. She truly desired to enter into His loving redemption plan for earth! How could she resist such love? How could she want anything else but His loving will to fill every last corner of every galaxy and universe? Now she knew why the Mighty Ones so loved His presence! She understood how her father would be one who wanted God’s Kingdom to come everywhere more than anything else. And all this was transpiring before she had had a chance to utter a single word to Him.
When they finally stood before Him, Twinkle and Shining felt God’s words more than they heard them. “Twinkling one, I love it that you wonder. Have I not written to my creations on earth to ‘Ask, seek and knock.’? For everyone that asks of Me, receives from Me; and those who seek Me find Me; and the one who knocks at My Door is granted entrance? Come on in; further up; further in.” He encouraged.
As she drew even nearer, Twinkle tried again to frame her question, wondering at God’s words of generous invitation. This time an answer flooded in on waves of lovingkindness. “When you direct your questions to Me, it shows that you wish to know Me, that you believe that I Am here, as your loving Creator; and that I care enough to reward those who diligently seek Me.
On earth, that is called ‘faith’. Without faith there is no way to please Me.” Twinkle caught her breath as she was suddenly gently but firmly drawn into what felt like an embrace, yet also developed into a glorious dance of indescribable beauty, symmetry, and balance—like righteousness, peace and Joy to the tune of God’s Holy Spirit. Surrounded by His glory, she could not tell up from down, but longed to remain forever where she was, caught up in Love.
NASA photo by Earth.com, Reuters (the crab nebula)
Source: NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt (SSC/Caltech)
Published: November 8, 2017
Like early explorers mapping the continents of our globe, astronomers are busy charting the spiral structure of our galaxy, the Milky Way. Using infrared images from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, scientists have discovered that the Milky Way’s elegant spiral structure is dominated by just two arms wrapping off the ends of a central bar of stars. Previously, our galaxy was thought to possess four major arms.
The annotated artist’s concept illustrates the new view of the Milky Way. The galaxy’s two major arms (Scutum-Centaurus and Perseus) can be seen attached to the ends of a thick central bar, while the two now-demoted minor arms (Norma and Sagittarius) are less distinct and located between the major arms.
The major arms consist of the highest densities of both young and old stars; the minor arms are primarily filled with gas and pockets of star-forming activity.
Our Sun lies near a small, partial arm called the Orion Arm, or Orion Spur, located between the Sagittarius and Perseus arms.