Look Up!

The heavens are telling the glory of God;
and the firmament proclaims God’s handiwork.
Psalm 19:1

On the last Monday night in September the planet Jupiter moved within its closet position to the earth in fifty-nine years at 367 million miles from Earth. It is hard for me to consider 367 million miles as close. Yet, as Ian and I gazed at the eastern sky on Monday night we were both amazed and delighted by Jupiter’s brightness. We tried to draw it in closer with our binoculars but they were no match for such a distance. Yet despite that we still found it special to see Jupiter in all of its splendid light.

I find it important to look upward. Too often my eyes are focused straight ahead as I am determined to get from one point to another. When I do pause and look up—whether it is the deep blue sky and brilliant sunlight of day or the expansiveness of a starlite night—I find myself reminded as did the psalmist that the heavens are telling the glory of God and proclaiming God as Creator. It is simply my task to notice—to see what nature is saying. When I do take the time I receive not only a reminder but a wonderful remembrance of the goodness of our kind Creator.

As we all learned from our earliest days in school, Jupiter is the biggest of all the planets. Consider that 1,300 Earths would fit inside Jupiter. THAT IS BIG! Yet it appears at 367 million miles away as quite small—a single point of light. Yet consider though the wonder of how that light travels that far—far enough for us to see it and distinguish it from other planets and stars. And consider just how bright it is—bright enough for us to notice it.

People, like me and you, find ourselves in times of darkness from time to time. We need light, even the simplest and smallest point of light, to give us hope. We need light to remind us that we are not alone; that there is a Creator who made us and a Creator who cares for us.

Sometimes that light might literally be a light that we view in the night sky. Maybe looking at Jupiter can remind us that we are not alone; that the God who made this universe is with us in ways both known and unknown, both seen and unseen. Other times that light comes from other sources—the glimmer in another’s eyes, the smile on someone’s face, the familiar voice on the phone, the arrival of loved one. However might the light arrive we are filled with the same sense of hope—hope that we can live the fullest of life as intended by the God who made us and loves us.

So, look up and look around. Take in the light. Take in the hope. Then let it shine through you into another’s darkness.

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