Like many others, I spent time in August looking into a night sky filled the trails of falling stars. Watching for those magical streams that glide across the sky can be a child-like experience. There is nothing more exciting than to pay attention to the sky in the dark of night. It is so vast, so mysterious. When I was young I remember asking my father if he thought there was any life beyond this earth as we looked into a sky of twinkling lights. His answer will always stay with me, “…having created all this beauty and wisdom, why would God stop here?”
As I looked into the night’s canopy last month, remembering that conversation with my father, I took in its beauty and felt that same thrill when a star would stream before me.
There have also been times when the night sky has felt too large, out of my control, filled with things unknown, creating a sense of uncertainty and fear.
It is early morning and this year has brought us, once again, to September 11- a day eleven years ago when we awoke to watch our skies fill with objects of devastation instilling the greatest sense of sadness and fear. It was a day completely out of our control. A day when things unknown and unimaginable would change our lives forever.
Today I will look into that same sky, large enough to be filled with wonder and danger – I will look and remember the many people whose lives were lost, whose hearts were broken, and who gave all they had to aid with compassion, prayer and strength.
With eyes wide open, I remember all these things and give thanks for a sky large enough to hold all the prayers of God’s people. In faith we move forward, humbled and awakened.
I walk by faith, but I do not walk with my eyes closed. Faith does not mean I am blind to the world around me. In fact, just the reverse. Faith makes me even more aware of reality. It opens my eyes to hunger, poverty, injustice and prejudice. It offers me a vision of the beauty of creation and demands that I be held accountable for preserving that vision. I see God alive and active all around me. I am a witness to the living truth of a love so clear I cannot look away. Walk by faith and you walk with eyes wide open both to what is without and to what is within. (from Bishop Steven Charleston at Native American & Indigenous Ministry in Episcopal Church)