The meteor shower wasn’t supposed to start until three o’clock, but I settled down on the deck anyway, hoping I might see a few lucky precursors while I was still awake. The sky had been gray and thick earlier, the overcast threatening no view of the stars, but miraculously it was clear now. The only cloud visible was a long gray shape on the horizon in the shape of a crocodile’s head. I smiled when I noticed the star winking through the black hole where a crocodile’s eye should be.
Tonight, the stars were not static and immovable; they were twinkling in full energy, and the verse from Psalms floated through my mind – the heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows His handiwork.
“Declare,” I mused, cradling my hot cup of coffee – rapidly cooling down in the frigid air – between my hands. “Show.” They were active verbs, those words; anything but passive. Declare. Making a statement, a declaration – the verse implied that the stars themselves were unable to keep silent. The firmament can’t help but show God’s glory, show His loving craftsmanship.
As I sat outside with my head tilted back and my coffee already cold, my face began to numb and I realized I should probably head back inside. I had seen four shooting stars, but they were all seen from the corner of my eye, and by the time I searched for them, they were gone. The night was so beautiful that I wanted to swallow it and taste it and become it. I wish I was kidding for the sake of poetic license, but I’m not. The thought did cross my mind.
Stars are one of my great loves. I can sit for hours and find it hard to go inside when the stars are out, when I can see stars beyond stars beyond stars and the vast, enormous beauty of it all leaves a lump in my throat. Every single time before this, if I haven’t seen a shooting star, I whisper a prayer. ‘Please let me see just one.’ And each time, before this, almost immediately after the last word leaves my mouth or my mind, a star streaks across the sky and fades.
But not tonight. My prayer – it feels like more of a shared secret with the Maker than anything else – is met by the cold twinkling of stars over my head, fixed in their places. Declaring. Showing.
It was odd. I couldn’t remember this happening before, not even once. It was a small thing, but it was a special thing. And I thought, but I had faith in this.
And then I thought, but that’s not faith. My view of faith was wrong, and I hadn’t even realized it fully until just now, sitting wrapped in the cosmos with a cup of cold coffee. Faith isn’t believing God will do something, I thought. It’s believing that whatever He chooses to do is the right thing.
I laughed a little at myself as I unfolded my legs and stood, still looking up, still hoping I might see a shooting star. It felt like a juvenile, obvious kind of ‘revelation’ to have in that moment, but Solomon wrote whole passages on dead vineyards, so I decided, why not this?
I plan to go back out tomorrow night and curl up with another cup of coffee, and wait. Maybe I’ll see falling stars, maybe I won’t, but I know what I will see, if the sky remains clear. I’ll see the stars declaring, and I’ll see them showing, because stars have the right idea.