Tight for time today, so in lieu of the usual wit and erudition, I leave you with a snippet of Sunspin WIP.
"You spent a week on Pardine, Father. In one place, within one city. That's not a meaningful amount of time for a planet. That's like examining the nail of my left little toe and thinking you know what I look like."
Given that Father Vasiliev was suddenly seized with a profound urge to study Dr. Rouhollahzadehm's toes, he swallowed the first several responses that leapt to mind. "Yes, ma'am. You are right. When I go somewhere, I spend most of my time in orbital habitats or office buildings on the planetary surface."
"So you travel the universe but you never stop to see where you really are?" she asked softly.
He could hear the pity in her voice. "I... I have my work, madam. I serve God and His instrumentality the Ekumen. In serving them, I serve the Imperator as well."
"Surely your God created all these worlds for you who consider yourself His children to experience in all their glory? The imams of my faith teach that Allah did not carelessly create the heavens and the earth and all else between them. Allah created for the truth of life, that most do not understand." She smiled sweetly. "That is from Surah 44 of our teachings."
"Likewise the God of the Ekumen has arrayed the universe to enlarge our faith," said Father Vasiliev, feeling vaguely shamed.
"Your faith might be enlarged by watching some pounding surf a while," Dr. Rouhollahzadehm observed. "Then you might better understand the attraction of a gas giant. Our monkey ancestors might well have watched the ocean from the trees, and surely the first men spent a thousand generations staring into night fires before the light of faith filled their souls. Of course we see God in the fractals. They draw our eyes the way the scent of the beloved draws our bodies."
After a little further conversation, he excused himself to go take a cold shower and some hard prayer.