"Imagine the excitement if a space probe to Mars sent back pictures of a single blade of grass or, better, an ant. The implications would be mind-boggling. The possibility of life on other planets, especially on our closest neighbors in this solar system, has always intrigued us and furnished us with countless sci-fi movies and books. We long for assurance that we are not alone in this vast emptiness of space and that some intelligent life 'out there' may be even trying to contact us. Of course, Hollywood delights in reminding us that space aliens may not necessarily be our friends or have our best interests in mind.

"As Christians, we believe an Intelligent Life is indeed trying to communicate with us and does have our best interests in mind. But not just from 'out there.' Our Creator communicates to us through all creation, through the atom no less than through a super nova. 'The heavens declare the glory of God,' the psalmist sings. 'All the earth proclaims God's salvation' (Ps. 19:1).

"In Thailand, some years ago, loggers planned to destroy a forest to get at the hard wood. Buddhist monks, whose temple was nearby, protested but to no avail. Thailand, a devoutly Buddhist country, reveres monks. It is against the law to harm them in any way. For their part, monks believe the Buddha nature resides in all living things, including trees. So to save the forest, they hit upon a novel solution: they ordained the trees. Seeing the saffron robes of a Buddhist monk wrapped around the trunks of trees caused loggers to stop and reconsider their plans to desecrate the forest. They were not about to risk the law of karma and wind up coming back in the next life as a bug, or worse — a tree!"