Skywatching

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I’m a little bit of a space nerd (and totally geeking out about today’s eclipse, which is part of why this rambling post exists).

I can’t tell you any of the really science-y things, like formulas and equations and complicated theories (that’s more my sister’s area of interest). But I can tell you that the sky is beautiful and vast and terrifying and comforting all at once.
He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names.
{Psalm 147:4}
When I was ten years old, I watched a meteor shower for the first time. I wasn’t in the habit of waking up and crawling out of bed before daybreak, especially in summer, but it was an occasion for doing so. The previous night, I’d been at a friend’s house for a sleepover and in the early moments of sunrise, we stood at her living room window to watch streams of orange-white light cross the sky.

Over the years, I can’t count the number of times my family dragged blankets out to the front yard at odd hours of the night and early morning in hopes of seeing a few flashes and pinpricks of light, or even a fireball racing across the sky so quickly it almost looks like a spaceship.

(I also can’t keep track of all the times we’ve mournfully acknowledged the sky was too clouded or too stormy to see anything. Skywatching is so dependent on the weather, and often when something cool is happening in the night sky, we have clouds. Even in such cases, we’re usually sneaking outside in hopes of finding one clear spot to watch.)

During a lunar eclipse, my sister and I huddled in front of a computer at 6:00 in the morning to watch a livestream of it because we’d never seen one before. Thankfully, a few months later we did get to watch the moon shift to red-orange against a star-filled sky and it was just as amazing as hoped.

About a week ago, my mom and I were sitting in the front yard to watch the Perseid meteor shower. Being a cloudy Saturday night, we were still hopeful it would clear up. So between waiting for the clouds to clear (they did) and trying to determine exactly what that flash of light was (often a plane), we fell into discussing the stars and Narnia and faith and quite a few other things, but we kept coming back to how small the night sky can make a person feel.

It’s very surreal to look up at millions of lights that look so, so tiny to us and realize how big the stars are, and that there are even more we can’t see. The beauty of the night sky is its peacefulness in spite of the whispers about the chaos happening out there that makes Earth feel like little more than a speck floating in the midst of it.

There’s solemnity in realizing how vast Creation is, and that every star and speck of light is held in place by a God who has a purpose for it all.
When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? 
{Psalm 8:3-4}
 Have you ever watched a meteor shower or an eclipse? Are you watching the solar eclipse today? What’s the coolest space thing you’ve ever gotten to see? And do you have a favorite planet (besides Earth, of course!)? (I’m a Jupiter fan myself. ;D)

Comments

  1. "But I can tell you that the sky is beautiful and vast and terrifying and comforting all at once." <--- THIS. YES. I feel the exact same way. There is nothing like the sky to make me realize how SMALL I am and how BIG and amazing God is. I absolutely love the sky! And I loved this post. It was so beautiful, I can tell it came from your heart. Reading about all your sky watching stories was so fun. Thank you for sharing with us! <3

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