When the invisible becomes visible

Published 9:00 am Wednesday, November 18, 2020

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Think back over the past year; the infections and deaths, the masks and sanitizers, the shutdowns and controversies. It’s all caused by a virus measuring .05 – .2 microns or one millionth of a meter. Thomas Webster, a chemical engineer who specializes in nano-scale medicine and consultant to the CDC, says the coronavirus is approximately ten thousand times smaller than the width of a human hair. Or as I recently read, “It’s really, really, small.”

You should also know the best N95 masks filter out particles down to .3 microns. Yet, that’s rather large when you talk about subatomic particles. When I was growing up, the smallest particles were the electrons and protons making up atoms. Before that, the atom was the smallest particle; in fact the word atom comes from “a” or “no” and “tomos” or “splittable.” Then someone split the atom and found electrons, protons, and neutrons.

Akash Peshin tells the story in scienceabc.com; Chemist John Dalton, in the 1800’s, found the average diameter of an atom to be 50 nano-centimeters or one million times smaller than a grain of sand. Then in 1897, Sir J. J. Thomson discovered the electron; it was .0000000000001 centimeters or 2,000 billion times smaller than a grain of sand. Now you might think we’re done with all this; but when physicists fired electrons into protons, the electrons bounced off three small hard cores inside the proton. They called them quarks and, for the time being, they are the smallest particles we know about. Just imagine a six year old child realizing his sand castle is made up of billions of microscopic grains of sand.

“The Son (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.” (Colossians 1:15–16)

I’ve heard people say they can’t, or won’t, believe in a God they can’t see and maybe the coronavirus has opened up a whole new “invisible world” for us… a world we can’t see that’s as real as the world we can see. So right now we’re all well aware there is an invisible world with power beyond our imagination, the power unleashed in explosive devices and in pandemics. Then it’s not much of a jump to believe in an invisible God who created both that invisible world and the visible world we see all around us.

Remember all this as we celebrate Thanksgiving and get closer to Christmas; for most of our lives we simply thought it was about God sending his Son into our world. This year, we might be able see it as the invisible becoming visible. If you won’t believe in a God you can’t see; maybe you can believe in a God you can see… and his name is Jesus.