star dust and atoms

The other night I was meeting with a family and they were speaking with one another about a medical issue that was occurring and one of them misspoke for a moment in reference to scar tissue and said, “…well the whole issue revolves around star tissue.” Well everyone kind of chuckled a bit, but all of a sudden it got my nerdy science mind whirling. Because in fact there is star tissue in all of us. The basic building blocks of all life, elements, are composed by atomic exchange with the cosmos. So you and I literally are walking around with some percentage of star dust composing our underlying makeup. Not only that, but who you are this year is not who you will be next year. In a given year, you will exchange every atom that makes up your body. In fact, just to put it on an even more drastic level, the human body is composed of roughly 72% water and these water atoms are exchanged completely every sixteen days. So I can literally look at myself each year that I age in the full realization that at least on the atomic level I am a completely different person.

This is amazing to me on a variety of levels, but the one thing that stands out to me is how similar/connected this means that all of humanity is. The first law of thermodynamics states that matter and energy cannot be created or destroyed…just converted. So this means that the atoms that make up you or I today could be part of making up someone else completely different next year. The air I am breathing today could have been breathed out by someone in a completely different part of the world 1000’s of year ago. To me, this helps me to see that we really are all connected. In his second letter to the Corinthian church Paul writes, “So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” – II Corinthians 5:16-18 I love that thought, “now we regard no one from a worldly point of view”, but instead through the eyes of reconciliation.

There seems to be more and more talk in our world lately about how different we all are. We like to place each other into categories or label one another so that we can separate ourselves or really just have nothing to do with the other because they are different. One simply has to look at the American political landscape to see how easy it is to divide and polarize people by labeling them or pointing out how different the other person is. But this is a worldly point of view. This is not how we as the body of Christ should be operating. We are given the ministry of reconciliation. This means we are called to restore humanity..not divide, label, cast stones or make them to feel unwelcome, unloved, misunderstood, etc. We have to understand that we are Christ’ ambassadors and therefore our actions, speech, life, even Facebook posts should always reflect the Spirit of reconciliation that does not see difference and labels, but sees God’s crown of creation.

At the end of the day we are all stardust and shared atoms. So let’s regard one another from Christ’ point of view and start to see the world transformed through the ministry of restoring humanity.

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