The Supreme Scientist

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THE MYSTERY

Try to imagine God as a scientist. An inventor, creator, desingner, engineer. He would, naturally, be the greatest of all scientists -- the Supreme Scientist.

This scientist can create anything. To pusue his experiments and studies He has created a vast science center -- the Complex -- on thousands of square miles of rolling hills, plains, and deserts. The buildings and laboratories strectch on and on, beyond numbering, beyond calculation. Housed within them are great cyclotrons, nuclear power plants, mammoth banks of computers, soaring towers, architectural masterpieces, infinite varieties of color, sounds and shapes. Nearby, on unbounded tracts of forest and meadowland, new life-forms dance in the golden light of a morning sun that never sets.

The Complex vibrates and thunders and shimmers and sings. Working throughout this Complex is a huge company of white-cloaked techinicians, tireless servants of the Scientist who witness His limitless wisdom and creative power and move at the speed of thought to do His bidding.

From the least to the greatest, every techinician knows that the Prime Directive calls for absolute purity in the Complex. No hint of impurity -- not even the merest thought of contamination -- could be tolerated. These standards, however are no burden for the technicians, who serve their Leader with passionate loyalty and great joy. A perpetual sense of awe sweeps across the great environs like freshening rain -- each creative wonder from the hands and heart of the Supreme One seems to exceed the last. Anticipation is always rewarded with greater realization that the most daring techinician could have imagined.

But here the story takes an unusual twist. There was a mystery in the Complex... a mystery so baffling, so deep, that not one among the numberless hosts of techinicians could offer the slightest clue toward its answer, though they ached to know it. For the mystery involved the Supreme Scientist himself.

Day after day they watched the Scientist leave His other pursuits and walk toward one building -- just one out of all the buildings with the sprawling reaches of the Complex. It was an average sort of building, a single galaxy cluster out of all the millions of clusters He had made.

Soon there wasn't a technician throughout the whole realm --for news traveled rapidly -- who wasn't familiar with the Scientist's strange obsession. He would always walk to exactly the same spot -- into that one ordinary building, through the halls, past many doorways, until just past a door marked "ANDROMEDA" He would walk into the room designed "MILKY WAY".

Inside the room were long rows of translucent cabinets filled with trays of billions of glass slides. Every day, without exception, the Scientist would walk down the aisles to one cabinet marked "ORION ARM". Then to one particular drawer which he would pull open. And finally to one particular glass slide. Just one, with the tiny label, "Solar System".

Then He would take that all-too-common-looking slide over to His electron microscope and begin to move it around. He would see the sun within that slide, but move quickly past it. Jupiter and Saturn would come into view, but the Scientist would hurry past these as well, all the while boosting the magnification of His massive microscope, until... a tiny bluish-green speck came into view.

A planet called Earth.

All the massive army of technicians was aware that He would spend hours looking at that one bit of blue-green on that one tiny slide form the one file drawer, from the one bank of files, in the one room of the one building among the mind-staggering millions of buildings within the Complex.

Why?

The Scientist only added to the perplexity of His technicians when He told them to pay attention to two infinitesimally small creatures on the face of that bluish-green speck -- two thinking, moving, feeling creatures. "Watch carefully, My servants," He told them. "What happens with these creatures will be the greatest exhibition of My creative capacity. The ultimate expression of My greatness."

The Supreme Scientist also informed them that by some process known only to Him, He had placed something of Himself in those beings. In fact, He had created them in His very image.

Wonders and more wonders! The technicians were reduced to astonished silence. To think that anything so small...

The scientist in His wisdom had also developed a means of communicating with the creatures -- of actually introducing thoughts from His infinite mind into the minuscule world of their own minds. He spoke in their language. They could hear His very voice. They could hear the sound of Him in their garden in the cool of the day.

Day after day the technicians witnessed this most incredible of relationships, as the Supreme Scientist visited with the little ones on the tiny bluish-green speck.

Though no one would have thought of questioning the Scientist's activities, it was... well, difficult to comprehend. The technicians were awere -- and only partially aware at that -- of the length and breadth and multiplied marvels of the Complex. So many wondrous happenings in so many laboratories and galleries and observatories throughout the Scientist's realm -- the terror and beaty and glory of it all! Rivers of music... mountains of living crystal... cathedral caverns of pure color... sky-rending explosions of joy... all this! Yet the Scientist spent so much time with that speck. That one all-but-invisible speck.

The creative years sped by as the Complex remained alive with motion and discoveries and celebrations and a great deal of hard work by the technicians.

CONTAMINATION!

When the news came, it fell over the Complex like a sudden shadow. An unspeakable tragedy had taken place. Something inconceivable, monstrous.

Contamination had been discovered within the Supreme Scientist's domain! There was no need of sirens or alarm bells. The Scientist's grief was a tangible presence that could be felt in every corner of the Complex. To make matters worse, the impurity had been discovered in that one building, in the one corridor, in the one room, on the one slide... on the tiny bluish-green speck. The very object of the Scientist's prime concern! Some dreadful, incurable virus had somehow enveloped the two tiny creatures. And as the creatures multiplied, the contamination multiplied too. The whole population was dreafully marked by this vile thing called "sin".

It would only be a matter of time. All the technicians knew what had to be done. The Scientist could not live with impurity -- that speck had to be destroyed. He would take a bottle of sulfuric acid, draw out a microscopic portion, and let the droplet fall on the diseased speck. In just an instant it would fume and froth and boil and that would be the end of it. It was unfortunate, but it had to be done. The Prime Directive demanded it. The very purity and integrity of the whole Complex was at stake.

Why then did the Scientist seem to... hesitate? The technicians looked at one another as they pursued their many tasks. What was it they felt in the air? A sense of foreboding. An inexplicable feeling that something -- an incredible something -- was about to happen.

And it did.

THE PLAN

It began when the Scientist called His Son into the galaxy room of the Milky Way. Word was out that They had talked through one long day and far into the night. They had conceived a plan -- a final solution to the contamination dilemma. Yes, the virus would be utterly destroyed. That much had been obvious from the start. The wrath of the Scientist would certainly fall. The deadly sulfuric acid would do its work. But not in the way all the technicians had supposed. Not in a way anyone could have ever imagined.

Was there any limit to this Scientist's power? Did He ever do anything in "the expected way"? Which of the wisest of the technicians could have predicted a plan that would involve shrinking the Scientist's own dearly-loved Son down to the size of one of those infinitely tiny contaminated creatures?

His own Son! His equal in power and wisdom and dignity. The technicians had known the Son from the time of their first awareness. Now He would become like one of those little ones -- or was He actually going to become one of them?

The Scientist Himself said very little. He simply invited them to watch.

In the days that followed the technicians found themselves thinking constantly about the drama unfolding on the microbe called Earth. A number of them had been permitted to watch in amazement as the Scientist's Son willingly laid aside all His robes and all the vestiges of His authority and honor -- and shrank down, down, down until He was lost from sight on the thin glass plate. Still others were allowed to accompany Him on His journey, and bits of strange stories came back about songs on a dark night, a lonely village, and some workmen on the hillsides called shepherds. (How the technicians longed to know more!)

Much later they would sing the stories of the Supreme Son in the days of His smallness. They would speak of how He lived among the diseased ones and ate their food and drank their wine. Of how He shared their joys and their sorrows. They would speak in hushed tones of the day when the Scientist drew the Son aside form the rest and caused all the ghastly filth and contamination of the whole planet to be absorbed into His body.

It would be called the Black Day forever, for who could forget how the Supreme Scientist drew out a measure of the white-hot acid and in great wrath dropped it on His own Son? The scream from the tiny slide could be heard in every corner of the Scientist's realm -- "My God, My God! Why have You forsaken Me?" Those who witnessed it said the Son burned and foamed and wrenched and died.

In perfect agreement with the Son of His love, the Supreme Scientist called once more on His awesome power -- for what He would do next would surpass all that He had done before. Calling Him back from the far side of eternal destruction, the Father restored His Son to all His former glory, exalted far, far above the blue-green speck on the glass slide.

In the days that followed, the technicians were aware that from time to time the Scientist would reach down into that slide with infinitesimally small tweezers and pick up those human creatures who had responded to His love. With deep joy He would lift them tenderly from the disease-damaged slide to a new, golden slide -- clean and fresh, where no sin, suffering, or sorrow could ever come again.