Then the Lord answered Job: “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth, when the morning stars sang together and all the heavenly beings shouted for joy?” – Job 38:4 & 7 (NRSV)
Whether you call it singing or shouting is probably poetic license, but it turns out the author of Job was onto something: heavenly bodies really do make all kinds of noises.
Take gravitational waves: they’re ripples in the fabric of spacetime itself, caused by unimaginably giant things moving unimaginably fast. For a long time, cosmologists were theoretically sure they must exist, and while some were sure we’d be able to perceive them someday, even Einstein thought they would probably always be impossible to observe by humans.
Then in 2015, scientists were able to detect the gravitational waves created by two giant black holes circling each other and smashing together. In that moment, humanity learned that cataclysmic events a jillion miles away make the most adorable bloop sound.
The Big Bang, the explosive creation of the universe billions of years ago, would also have given off gravitational waves. So many stars springing into being, so many heavenly beings shouting for joy, so many squee-worthy bloops.
The event we observed in 2015 had this effect: the waves moving through spacetime changed the length of a 4-kilometer-long observatory by one-thousandth the width of a proton. The sound it made can’t be heard by human ears, only by those listening through specialized and highly tuned machinery.
Which is to say: the universe sings in a still, small voice. Very.
But if you believe it’s there, if you’re quite theoretically sure it must be, and if you listen long enough and hard enough, if you build a life ready to sense it when it comes, it’s entirely possible you too will hear the sound of the song of the One who laid the foundation of the universe.
I’m listening. Amen.
Quinn G. Caldwell is a father, husband, homesteader and preacher living in rural upstate New York. His most recent book is a series of daily reflections for Advent and Christmas called All I Really Want: Readings for a Modern Christmas. Learn more about it and find him on Facebook at Quinn G. Caldwell.