12:30 AM— Thoughts with God as I lie down watching the moonlight shine through the window pane:
There is something about Your sky that’s vast and endless in intricate artistry. In the morning, a sunrise that wakes up our souls, every cell in our bodies, awakening the dawn of an unprecedented new day, like a foot of freshly fallen snow without a single footprint. In the late afternoon, a sun that ribbon dances in ruby reds and sapphire kissing the horizon. In the evening, a deepened blackish navy blue cascaded with darts of yellow starlight.
I cannot comprehend its infinite end and I literally feel myself pulled into your beauty, your craft, your handiwork. Like suction, I am drawn to this- fixated upon a changeable sky that in light or dark immediately ceases all selfish thoughts that run rampant throughout my brain throughout the day. It stills my worries and mollifies my aching fears. All falls silent when I look up to your sky- minus the low drone of cars off the highway in the distance. Something moves me closer to your heart, a magnetic pull. I can’t fight it. I suppose even if I were to look away, I would only long to look back at it, if but for the peace and stillness it arouses.
And when in the midst of my 9-5 labor rife with meetings and no windows, just tan and creme colored walls… When I grapple with the immediacy of a deadline… When I am all alone, scared and confused, on my hands and knees by candlelight begging you to help me find your hands in this darkness… I hear this voice that encourages, “Go outside and ponder the Pleiades.” “Look up at the sky. Count the number of planes that go by just in these next few moments. And now think of all the people on board, some sleeping, some dreaming, some ready to hop aboard another plane, some ready to hop out of a plane, tandem… think about how I take care of my people from land and air, high and low, on the water in ships, everywhere-I make them grow, so surely, I must be able to take care of you too.”
I think about every moment when I heard that voice, urging me to go outside and see sky blue or sky black, and how easily I push that voice away. For certainly, can’t you see, I have big grown up things to do, like tasks and responsibilities and dirty dishes to tend to? Oh, and yet this part of me hears that voice again, this time reaching my inner spirit, the Child of God within me, the part that longs for play and exploration and wonder.
I now know.
I know now that to miss out on these moments is foolish. I have nothing too important in my life to not tiptoe down the stairs and sit on the stone ledge of my front porch and regain strength, vision, and clarity with every twinkle of every star. I am a fool to think that I am too busy to take a moment to breathe in the cool evening air and look up. Just the simple shift in gaze—from scribbling away at some paper or glued to some task or to the laundry that needs to be folded— to looking away from that and now looking up— has brought my whole body, mind, spirit into a posture of gratitude and worship, yes. No songs or hymns or Bible. But my gaze becomes a wordless prayer, breathless, not even a whisper, as I worship you- everything about you has me falling in love with you again and again.
And tomorrow I shall do the same. I am not too busy to soak in a widescreen shot of sky blue before I drive off for the day, fresh air mobilizing the oxygen in my blood. And maybe after this week is over, I shall lay in the fields, those favorite fields, or perhaps I’ll find a new one today, and lay on a bed of grass and clover, arms folded behind my neck, staring, lost in beauty, lost in peace, lost in nothing making sense and everything making sense at once, lost in transcendence. And my hands will finger the blueberries I brought with me, slowly plopping them into my mouth for sweet reprieve from hunger. Or maybe today my hands shall finger through manila, crisp pages telling of someone else’s story with you, Lord. Or maybe there will be nothing that my hands will do as I lay them, palm down, along my chest, feeling the solidarity of the thump-thump of my heartbeat. Sometimes there’s nothing to do under these skies but worship with peace and renewal and sabbath in our hearts. Perhaps that’s the point, after all, of this sky- that we can’t busy our hands with distracting to-do lists at the same time we look upward. Sometimes we can barely hold a conversation, because all of our eye contact is directed at these skies of blue, or orange, or red, or black with white-ish, yellow diamonds “up above the world so high.”
And maybe in all these moments, the point is simply to remind us that we don’t need to be somewhere else right now in order to be happy. We don’t need to be doing something different. No, I am re-discovering the portable happiness and joy and that comes from the serenity of the day or night sky, visible from anywhere in this world, if we just step away and step out for a few to notice it, to revel in it, to take it in with all of our senses, stepping out of our shallow microcosms and into the deepness of the bigger story You have for your creation. I shall make this habit of enjoying beauty, of learning how to pray with the stars and learn a new way of worship that speaks nothing in word, but utters the intimacy of one thousand choirs filled with sacred song, of one thousand communion cups raised high, until all have received their cup and their portion. Your sky is holy and sacred and if Church ever feels far away, I will look to these skies of blue and skies of black and know of the gift of your presence, my joy, my delight, my saving grace, my God…
“I can feel you like a notion that I hope will never leave ’cause when I look to the sky something tells me you’re here with me and you make everything alright. And when I feel like I’m lost something tells me you’re here with me and I can always find my way when you are here,” -Train
Where is your favorite place to go to find peace, rest, and renewal?