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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Black Hole

I don't believe in magic. But there are some mysteries in life that tempt one to believe such things. After all we don't really know everything about our world. Even aside from the supernatural (God is there, and He does act) there are mysteries in our natural world.

Take my wife's purse, for example. It has some amazing qualities about it. On occasion it yields a folded $20 dollar bill when we thought we had no money. In this it reminds me of the widow's cruse of oil which, at the word of the man of God, always had something in it. At other times it reminds me of the carpet bag of Mary Poppins. The most outrageous things can be found there. Whenever my wife asks me to look for something, saying, "It's in my purse." My reply is invariably, "Can you be more specific." In this age of the cell phone, we often hear her purse ringing with a strange little jazzy tune. After it has been searched in vain to find the phone, it's okay. When the phone is finally located we can just call the original caller with the push of a button or two.

They say there are "black holes" out there in space. I haven't seen one yet, but I am trusting the testimony of those who say it is so. I understand that they appear black because the gravitational draw from inside is so powerful that even the rays of light fail to escape. When a celestial object of some sort draws near to this hole, it is certain to be drawn into the depth of this area, never to be seen again. Well, that's my wife's purse. At any given moment she must tote $4 worth of change in the crannies at the bottom. When we are making a social appearance, she grabs her purse and looks for her comb. She needs to do this soon after we leave the house because of the time needed to locate something even that large.

People make fun of the junk a man carries in his pockets. Well, that's nothing compared to objects lost in the black hole. The concentrated gravitation compresses the atoms in a black hole so compactly that relatively small things weigh enormous amounts of tonnage. Well, have you ever lifted my wife's purse? It's enough to wrench her good shoulder out of joint. Strong men grunt and comment if they have ever had the occasion to lift it for her. "Wow! What have you got in there, an anvil?" It wouldn't surprise me one bit.

At this rate, as you may imagine, she wears out a purse each year, and the project of moving the contents from the old to the new purse is a half day's work.

Yes indeed, there are mysteries of this life that defy explanation. The black hole is one of those phenomena.

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