The Master Subitizer
Last evening in class some of my students taught me a new word. I had no idea this word existed. It is “subitize.” It is pronounced “sue baa tize.” I felt a bit dull because it wasn’t the high school math teachers who taught me this word. It was the kindergarten teachers. Subitize means to perceive at a glance the number of items presented. Unless you are Rain Man the limit for most of us is seven.
In Matthew 10 Jesus said, “Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Our Heavenly Father is the Master Subitizer.
On a very clear night with little light pollution the average person can see about 2000 stars. We cannot subitize them. They were counted by astronomers with sky maps. That is such a small sampling of what is really out there. “He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name.” Psalm 147:4. He doesn’t call them Sirius and Arcturus. Those are the names we have given them. He calls them by the names He has given. Each is special. I have often wondered what is His name for our sun.
Our personal names are those our parents gave us. I wonder what He calls us. We shall know someday. “I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.” Revelation 2. One thing we know for sure. He knows you and me. He knows all about us because He is the Master Subitizer.