When I Gaze Into the Night Sky

Fall_2007 071  MoonThis was originally posted on my devotional blog, Riverside Reflections.  Go outside, look up, glorify God!

I often pity people in big cities…

places where man-made lights, man-made buildings and man-made pride can seem to eclipse our God-made stars, planets and moon.  I pity them the most during an evening in the Blue Ridge, where, when the sun slips down behind the ridge, vibrant watercolor streaks of pink, red and orange smudge to deep fuchsia, plum and then finally inky blue-blackness from which the stars begin to emerge.

Countless stars spill across the breadth of the sky.  Gazing up, the Milky Way is within reach, the Glory of the LORD shines all around, and my breath catches in complete awe.

In this moment I can’t seem to praise God enough.
There are no words for the wonder.
There are no songs sweet enough.
My voice is silenced, but not my heart,
My heart throbs a deep joy,
My spirit offers praise that surely sounds in that realm.

When I gaze into the night sky,
and see the works of Your Fingers,
the moon and stars suspended in space!
O, what is man that Thou art mindful of him?

A sky of darkest blue velvet…

is pierced all over with bright pinpoints of light;
some reddish, some blue, one over there is yellow.
Some large, some small;
I rejoice, recognizing an old friend –
Orion’s belt, flanked by Rigel and Betelgeuse.
Aldebaran shines just above;
shifting left I see Castor and Pollux!
So many stars!  Some forming a pattern, others seemingly random.


The clouds are blowing by fast…

The moon plays hide and seek with clouds, thin and wispy.
Riding the wind northward, new clouds arrive, fluffy and white,
radiant against the cerulean sky – backlit.
Look away, then back, and they are gone,
and the moon glows unfiltered, round and golden.

Mars rises in the East to the left of the moon…

and Venus and Jupiter slowly, cautiously move closer to one another.

Night after night, the scene unfolds, the place and time of their impending conjunction mapped out an eternity ago. Diamond bright and dazzling, these distant planets, hold us in place – sustain the Earth’s axis.  Their atmospheres reflect our enormous star, and shining forth, enable our limited human minds to catch a glimpse of the immensity of God’s Hand, the sublimity of His plan!

The heavens declare the
Glory of God
the skies proclaim the
work of His hands
day after day they
pour forth speech,
and night after night they
display knowledge…

We are a culture that has completely lost touch…

with the world around us.  The movement of moon and planets beyond our notice.
Closed up in offices, malls, stores and schools we don’t know the weather if we haven’t checked the web or turned on the TV.  Big city buildings block the horizon, allowing the merest snippet of night sky between their mass, through their competing glare.

How often do we sniff the air for rain or snow,
examine the shape and texture of clouds,
lift our faces to the sharpness, dampness, direction of the wind,
or listen to birds for clues to impending atmospheric changes?

Day after day, night after night…

aren’t we more likely to huddle in front of man-made screens, absorbing man-made canon and precepts, listening to self-proclaimed prophets? Ears clogged with I tunes, deaf to the music of the spheres.

Minds addicted, we constantly seek  the quick fix of a smart phone,
checking in to the cyber,
checking out of the body and blood right in our midst.

It is when we lose the wonder that we surrender to the blunder that is Darwin.

Nothing is revealed by the golden moon
hanging huge on the horizon,
the stars pulsing, the planets coursing ’round the star,
when the man-made holds thought captive.
It’s impossible to see the beauty of God’s plan
when standing in the shadow of the towers of man.

Feb 2012

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