An Essay on Stars and God’s Love (Guest Post)

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Breaking news: I love space. Also, God loves us enough to make stars for us, so that’s awesome.

I do not know why I love the stars so much.

My first memory of the night sky is standing on the driveway, the rough cement beneath our feet and the night like a blanket and my father pointing up to the heavens, tracing the stars into the constellation.

“Cygnus,” he would say with absolute confidence and a little bit of awe. “Orion.”

Why, I always asked. They don’t look like anything but pricks of light. Who was the first person to gaze up and see people?

My parents explained once upon a time, there were no lights. Every night, the sky seemed like it was on fire with the stars. There were more of them to see and trace.

Maybe that was what lit the passion inside me.

I have looked through a telescope two times in my life. Once, the neighbors down the street— a single mother and her teenage son— invited us to glimpse the heavens through theirs. I do not remember what we looked at. Perhaps it is only a dream. I only remember the coldness of the night and the darkness of the sky.

The second time, we went out with our friends the MacMillians to the golf course by their house. It was a bad place to look at stars; there was so much light pollution. But we had just finished a unit in school on astronomy and space and they had a telescope they had acquired from somewhere. We looked at the Moon, I believe, and tried to find Jupiter or Mars.

I remember lying on the golf course and staring up into the blackness with coats bundled close. We couldn’t actually see anything, but we imagined we could.

When I was older, we went to a planetarium. The animated heavens wheeled over us. They drew lines between the stars in the constellations. I did not like the fake stars. I wanted the real stars.

When I was nine and at summer camp for the second time, I was sick in the middle of the night. Most of what I remember is the walk with my counselor down to the infirmary, her hand clutched in mine. I looked up through the trees and it took my breath away.

Stars!

But what stars!

So many more than the skies at home. I could only see pieces of them through the treetops, but I longed for more.

Maybe it was just the mystery. Maybe the reason I love the sky so much is the fact that I have never seen it. I have only seen pieces of the heavens. I keep coming back for more, straining my eyes into the navy, looking for the milky way.

In New York City in 1965 the power went out for a night and all the people went up to the top of the buildings and looked up at the stars— spread out over the cities like they are every single night but visible for the first time in a century.

What a sight.

It seems to me that every time I have been out in the night I have only sought after the stars. I do not know why.

They are beautiful but they are distant. They might not even exist anymore. Their light takes eons to reach us; the actual star could be gone by now but the light is still traveling across space, thundering along at 300,000,000 meters per second but space is so massive it hardly makes a dent.

When I was younger, I wanted to be an astronaut. I have no idea why.

Space is beautiful but it is beautiful in the same way wildfires are beautiful. It is bone-chillingly terrifying as well; as unforgiving as the ocean.

Perhaps that is why astronauts and cosmonauts share their root in ‘sailor’.

Perhaps the younger version of me wanted to sail— to sail to all the fantastical planets no one has ever set foot on; to glide up to the distant stars and wave hello.

But space takes from you.

Space is unforgiving emptiness— silence and loneliness and coldness.

It is beautiful and breathtaking to look at space— those pictures from the Hubble telescope where every prick of light in the image is not a star but a galaxy, with a hundred million stars its own— they bring tears to my eyes.

But space is also wrong in some fundamental way, like watching an orchestra play without sound; the Wizard Of Oz with Kansas in color.

It is beautiful but it is terrifying once you get out in it, just like the ocean.

Maybe I am in love with space because of the book I had as a child. It was all about space exploration. I fell in love with the space race— with the scientists and their rockets. I could almost feel their emotions— disgust as their ideas were ignored, triumph as their vision was realized.

And under the stars, it seems as if the world is clearer.

The sky is high, higher than the ceilings in the great cathedrals of old. The grass is soft under your bare feet. Above, the stars glimmer down— millions and millions and millions of them.

Why are there stars?

Why did God decide to make stars? We wouldn’t know the difference.

We would never know the difference and yet I like the think that God thought it would bring us joy to look up upon the beauty of the sky ablaze as night.

I like to the think that God thought of me and my friends at our school retreat, lying on the cold grass staring into the heavens in unspeakable joy and thought, “I’ll make stars for them!”

I like to think that he saw me and my friends from camp sitting around a dying fire and canning our necks up to the heavens, filled with awe and thought, “I’ll make stars for them!”

I like to think that in all his planning for the world, he knew that the stars would fill us with wonder and amazement and a tremendous desire to see and to know, and so he, with hands so old the stars themselves seem like the lights of fireflies, spun them into the great blackness.

He hung each one in the heavens and thought about how it would bring us joy.

And so I am in love with the sky at night, with the stars, with the heavens.

I have never seen it in all its glory, but I know I will someday.

I know I will be driving through the empty lands of Montana some clear, clear night and I will pull the car over the side of the highway and get out and look up at the sky.

And I will not have words.

The sky will be on fire.

I will see the Milky Way, spread out like diamonds, each star so far away and yet looking down on me with unwavering light, older than the rocks I stand on.

And from above, God will smile. “I made them for you,” he whispers. “So you could have this joy.”

—The End—


Hello, everyone! I would like to give many thanks to Hollis Thundercroft from Rag Tag Essays for writing this guest post!

Hollis is a high school senior who writes essays in her free time. She enjoys running, quilting, and sleeping, as well as playing with her two new cats. Her favorite smell is after the rain, her favorite planet is Neptune, and her favorite rocket is the Saturn V, which, she says, you probably shouldn’t bring up in conversation because she will never stop talking about it.

I absolutely LOVE Hollis’s blog and all of her writing. I find her essays to be very powerful, true, and passionate. Please go check out her blog here and leave a comment!

signi

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Seeing God in the Everyday

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I pulled into my parking spot and turned off the engine. From where I sat in the parking lot at school, I had a perfect view of the sunrise. Shades of blue merged into purple and pink. Thin clouds raced across the morning sky as birds happily chirped in the cool air.

I watched as the sun rose all too quickly and the sky turned blue. As I continued my school day, I remembered the beauty and wondered how amazing God is! Later, that night, I opened my Bible and read the words that perfectly expressed the awesome beauty I felt only a few hours before.

How clearly the sky reveals God’s glory!
How plainly it shows what He has done!
Each day announces it to the following day;
each night repeats it to the next.
No speech or words are used, no sound is heard;
yet their message goes out to all the world
and is heard to the ends of the earth.
God made a home in the sky for the sun;
it comes out in the morning like a happy bridegroom,
like an athlete eager to run a race.
Psalm 19:1-5

I’m sure I’m not the only one to wake up some mornings feeling completely away from God. It can be difficult seeing Him work in life when we’re going through the motions and routines.

But, as Psalm 33:6 reminds us, God’s hand is shown throughout all of creation, in the beauty of His created world.

This week, I’d like to challenge you to look for God’s hand in the everyday things such as the sunrises, callings of the birds, and even in the beauty of human life.

signi

Motivation Monday//Rest

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“If you get tired, learn to rest, not to quit.”

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“Come to me, all who are weary and burdered, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28

In a world running faster than ever before, it is important to take the time to rest. This time away from the stress of the world is necessary to your health and gives your mind and body a break from running and deadlines. Full rest and peace can only come from God, but we must be willing to receive it. By taking the time to listen for God’s voice, we are opening ourselves up to His rest and peace. My challenge for you is this: make time to rest in Christ today.

signi

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Motivation Monday//Purpose

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June 26, 2017

Today’s Theme: Purpose

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“How cool is it that the same God, who created mountains, & oceans, & galaxies, looked at you & thought the world needed one of you too?”

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“Perhaps this is the moment for which you have been created.” – Esther 4:14

signi

Unknown Blogger’s Challenge

Hey, everyone! This is the second post you’ve seen this week! *gasp* Exciting? I think so. Any who-dos. :)

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I’ve been nominated by Grace2610 to do the Unknown Blogger’s Challenge. Click here to see Grace’s version of the challenge. This challenge was created by Unfashionable Cupcake. Click here to see the rules of UBC.

The Questions (Answered)

  1. Why did you start your blog?
    I started this blog, honestly, because it seemed like fun and a lot of my friends were starting blogs as well. I don’t regret it. Blogging is really fun for me and is relaxing especially during exam week (which is coming up soon. Pray for me)
  2. What has been your best experience of blogging so far?
    One of the things that I find really cool is the fact that bloggers are so helpful. I haven’t met a blogger that wasn’t encouraging or willing to give me tips. I love the way we are connected as a blogging family.
  3. What is your hobby?
    My hobby is baking. I’ve always loved baking and have made some lists of things that I’ve wanted to bake. Spending time in the kitchen with my family is one of my favorite ways to reconnect and recharge. :)
  4. What is your favorite color and why?
    My favorite color is pink. It used to be lavender but as I grew older, I started liking pink more and more. If I had to pick a shade of pink to be my favorite, I would have to pick watermelon pink. I think it’s a happy color and goes great with orange (another one of my favorite colors).
  5. What is/are your favorite school subject(s)?
    My favorite subject in school is Web Design. I love typing out lines of code and then that code actually making something cool. It’s really fun!
  6. What is your favorite shop to go to?
    Bath and Body Works. Absolutely. I love going with my friends and smelling all of the different lotions and candles. We can’t stay in too long though or we won’t be able to tell which scent is which but I love it. :)
  7. What is your dream for your future?
    I’ve always wanted to live in a big city, right downtown in the midst of everything. I love the busyness and all of the different shops and buildings on the street. And the lights at night are just beautiful!

My Questions For You.

  1. Why did you start your blog?
  2. How long have you been blogging for?
  3. If you could ask for anything in the world and be guaranteed to receive it, what would you ask for?
  4. What is your happy place?
  5. What would you like to change about the world?
  6. Name one thing that you would like to do by next year.

Tag, You’re It!

I tag anyone who is an “Unknown Blogger” (a blogger with less than 100 followers).
I also tag anyone who wants to answer any or all of the questions for you because, I know, this is fun. :)

Be sure to check Unfashionable Cupcakes for rules! Also, if you complete (or don’t complete) this challenge, let me know in the comments below! :)

signi