I had to make a quick run home at 3:00am today. It was cool tonight — for the first time this year, it’s felt like autumn. There was just enough chill in the air to make you feel alive (and also make you want apple cider). I was heading up my walkway when I noticed the sky.
I don’t know how long it’s been since I’ve looked at the stars. I’m not sure how long it’s been since I could really even see the stars from my house. But tonight was a beautiful, clear night sky, and the stars were so bright, they almost didn’t seem real. I stopped dead in my tracks and my breath was quite literally taken away.
There are no cars on the street at 3:00am. The cicadas, whose abrasive buzz has dominated the outdoors lately, are completely quiet at 3:00am. This particular night, there was not even a wind — only the gentle chirping of the crickets in the distance. My mind and heart were instantly stilled as I let myself just stand and stare.
I thought of Psalm 19:1, “The heavens declare the glory of God…” I thought of a quote from Thomas Dubay that tells of how the boggling size of our universe is not as much to make a statement about how insignificant we are, but about how stunning our God is. I thought of how Isaiah 40 says that He has numbered the stars and called them all by name.
I wondered how Adam and Eve felt watching the stars, before the Fall had corrupted our eyesight and before pollution had clouded the sky. What happens in your heart when you walk with God during the evening, and at night stare up into a sparkling display of His glory?
I wondered how the watchmen on the wall of Jerusalem felt, coming to the end of the fourth watch. All night they had stood guard against an enemy attack, but one look at the sky would remind them that Yahweh is good, neither slumbering nor sleeping in His care over Israel. I think part of the reason God made stars was so watchmen of the night could have a reminder of hope.
I wondered if I was beginning to touch a little bit of what made some of the mystics love nature so much.
I wondered if a young David was looking at a sky like this one while watching his sheep — and proceded to pen Psalm 19 as his heart moved in response.
Tonight I felt caught up into that same wonderment. The stars were doing more than glistening in the sky. They were wordlessly shouting to all of creation, testifying to the knowledge of God. There is a God. He is a beautiful Creator. He is infinitely wise and infinitely powerful. He is full of love and so dearly wants to be known that He lit up the night sky with a testimony of His glory. Behold your God, all peoples of the earth. Behold and believe.
Truly no one can claim that God never spoke to them. His testimony is trillions of miles wide and breaks upon our earth on any clear night — if we but have ears to hear Him.
I went home for the night at 6:00am. It was still dark out. And the sky was still as beautiful as ever.
I couldn’t let the moment go. I sat on our steps and watched the stars until they faded into the dawning light.
And the heavens are still declaring.