All the stars ever observed in the skies, all the millions of shining dots making up the Milky Way, the innumerable celestial bodies, suns of varying sizes and brightness, solar systems, planets, asteroids, millions and billions of them moving around us: what we call with our human tongues ‘the universe’ is in comparison to the immeasurable vastness of outer space nothing more than a group of celestial islands or a city in a vast and densely populated country.
Have you ever wondered what makes the universe tick? Linda’s all-consuming passion was astronomy. Poring over books on the cosmos, the 10-year-old Canadian imagined discovering another planet in the solar system. Together with her older brother she would visit the local observatory. What a thrill those outings were as the night sky yielded its treasures to them! Once they even saw a cluster of shooting stars — an impressive sight.
Although in the mid 1960s church featured prominently in the lives of Toronto’s citizens, Linda’s family were not churchgoers. So when a Christian film was shown at school, the girl understood nothing. One scene, however, stuck in her mind: the earth rotating on its axis. That night she dreamt of outer space. She saw the earth suddenly leave its orbit around the sun and hurtle aimlessly through the universe. Panic gripped her, and she broke out in a cold sweat. Where was it going? Was there some kind of unseen force out there sucking the earth into oblivion? At that very moment a deep peace flooded her and she knew for sure — no, there is a God, a God of love, who has everything under control.