In a little 80-mm refractor, a person can stare at the area of the night sky where the beautiful Pinwheel Galaxy is located but can barely see it. It’s surface brightness is low, so without enough light gathering capacity, it’s dramatic shape and features remain hidden. Quadruple the aperture and add astro-video, the magnificent arms jump out at an observer’s eyes.
The disciples landed on the shore of the sea of Galilee to be met by a man who was mad. His condition was extreme as the words of Luke 8 tell us. Jesus, however, saw with greater light. The town saw a madman; perhaps the disciples recognized that demons were at work; only Jesus saw the soul of the needy man and knew precisely how to deliver him from his torment. By the end of the scene, the man is sitting with Jesus and talking–in his right mind, dressed, and healed. God sees situations with greater light; he sees their totality. Without that kind of light, we cannot see situations as they really are. With Jesus Christ in the heart of a man, however, he teaches us to see better and address situations with greater light. It’s like seeing a galaxy with a bigger scope and some extra tools compared to what is seen with a wee little scope.
The picture of the painting below shows an impressionistic view of the galaxy with the assistance of astro-video during an hour of observing with an 8 inch telescope. At the same magnification, a small 80-mm refractor would show a very faint smudge of white with a faint nucleus.
Original oil on wood using black, white, and grey paint.
Original size: about 10×12 inches
Deliberately impressionistic to highlight the arms and general nebulosity.
Low quality digital picture of the painting–sized for the Web for this post