The Art of Mirriam Neal

//quadrantid

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.

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email