January 8, 2013

Starlight within Us

In the summer of 1945, I worked at a church camp for children on the west side of the Housatonic River in Connecticut. One of the songs the young campers sang included these lyrics: "This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine."

Sixty-five years later, in June of 2010, the Christian alternative pop/rock band Addison Road from Dallas, Texas recorded a song with similar lyrics titled This Little Light of Mine.

Is there really a light within us? The fact is we are made of light, the light of a star.

In an article titled The Star in You, Peter Tyson, former editor in chief of NOVA On Line, made the following observation: 
“Every single atom in your body—the calcium in your bones, the carbon in your genes, the iron in your blood, the gold in your filling—was created in a star billions of years ago. ...All except atoms of hydrogen and one or two of the next lightest elements. They were formed even earlier, shortly after the Big Bang began 13.7 billion years ago.” 
Astronomers estimate there are about 100 thousand million stars in our galaxy alone, and there are millions upon millions of other galaxies. Astronomer, astrophysicist and author Carl Sagan defines the vastness of space in this phrase: 
"The total number of stars in the Universe is larger than all the grains of sand on all the beaches of the planet Earth." 
The fact is the heavens above are aglow with the light of countless numbers of stars, yet we need look no farther than ourselves for starlight within us. He who created the majestic light that fills the heavens above took that light and created you and me.  As Sagan wrote: 
"Our planet, our society, and we ourselves are built of star stuff."