The streak of light sizzled across the night sky, moving from north to east and piercing the Pleiades, the Seven Sisters diving toward the unseen sun below the eastern horizon. It was a meteor. Part of the annual August Perseid meteor shower. Another soon followed and then a third. Continuous snapshot flares ranged across the night sky as dust fragments hit the atmosphere and flared spectacularly out of existence.
It was early morning before I wandered outside … sometime after 2:00 a.m. Perfect viewing weather for the Perseids. No moon and a clear sky. The day before was a perfect harbinger of autumn. The temperature dropped into the low 80s, and the humidity vanished. The leaves were turning the yellow-green of late summer and more and more were riding the drifting currents to the ground. Behind the house, the wild grapevine had maturing clusters, and even the poison oak leaves were turning bright red before dying back for the winter.
A billion stars filled the sky and shone alongside the streaking meteors. The constant companions overhead, Cassiopeia—and the Dippers in their eternal dance around Polaris—held their place of honor in the twinkling sky. Rising out of the east just ahead of the first rays of the sun were the Pleiades, my first harbinger of fall.
I’ve watched the stars all my life. From the time I was a little boy when spotting satellites was a big deal, to teaching my grandson Caleb to look for the Space Station zooming overhead. For me, those billions of stars are the majesty of God on display. We try so hard to describe it with laws of time and space, of motion and gravity … and yet God, in His omnipotence, shatters all of our efforts to wrap our laws around Him.
In the book of Joshua, God had the sun and moon stop at Joshua’s request. And if that wasn’t a neat enough (not to mention impossible) trick, God moved the sun backward across the sky in 2 Kings. Despite our pitiful human attempts to understand the laws that govern the cosmos, with these two verses, God laughs at us. All our accumulated knowledge, all the intellect of Copernicus, Newton, Einstein, and Hawking can’t explain those two verses.
For some, it is the intricate bloom of a rose. For others, the birth of a new baby. For me, it is the brilliant night sky that defines the wonder and majesty of our Lord. It is the face of God, sparkling from horizon to horizon. The moons circle planets that circle stars that circle through their galaxies that circle the universe ... all on the spoken word of our Lord.
Have you taken time to see the face of God in our natural world?
(Phot courtesy of morguefile and terryballard.)
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