Not long ago, someone shared a photo on Facebook of a sky at night, over the ocean. I don't remember where it was taken (somewhere in the U.S.) but the picture took my breath away. I stared and stared, mesmerized.
There were so...many...stars.
The photo (even better than the one pictured here) was taken far from the influence of light and people. It captured the glory, the majesty, the beauty, the intricacy. The absolute grandness of what is out there.
I kept thinking that all of that is out there, all of the time. This was not doctored. This was not just a scenic spot in one far away place. All of that wonder is just beyond me, even here where I live, where each night I see just a sprinkling of stars in the sky due to the nearby lights of Hartford.
And I wondered: How would life be different if each night we could see all of the stars? Because I really believe it would be.
What would we do, how would we perceive life and our joys and heartaches if each evening we were reminded that we are part of something so much bigger? We are insignificant yet gloriously unique in this galaxy among countless galaxies.
Would we think more about our purpose? Would we be more likely to let the little things go? Would we be more grateful? Would we wonder a little bit more about eternity, about how we got here, and why?
I think so.
I wish we could all see the stars like this, always. There is something about looking beyond man-made things in this age of self. There is something humbling that I think we all need.
Back in 2001, the day after the September 11 attacks, the TV news was continuing to drone near my cubicle at work when my boss brought several of us roses. There had been a rose sale going on and she left bouquets on our desks. I came back from lunch and sat and just looked, as I had gazed at those stars in the picture. The television went on reporting no answers, just more horror, but for a moment, it faded away. I was stunned by the beauty. I got lost in it. I stared at the complexity of a rose, the way the petals wrap around and around. They were so beautiful, I wanted to cry. Part of me wanted to cry because no human hand had made that. They were evidence of an intricate design. They were order in the midst of chaos. They reminded me there was still beauty, when I couldn't see it; that there was a plan when everything seemed out of control.
We think we are so smart, so accomplished, so evolved in our thinking. But I love the site of creation because sometimes we need to feel small.
In these days of the selfie, maybe sometimes we can turn the camera around again. Outward. Upward. To set our focus on more weighty and more beautiful matters.
Oh, how I wish. I wish we could always see the stars.