Sunday night was the peak time for the Perseid meteor shower (Google Perseid meteor shower August if you want to learn more about this phenomenon. Our friend Sharon Valli would be able to tell you all this information of the top of her head because of her passion for astronomy but I had to look it up.
Our son Kevin was born on August 13 and, from his teen years, he would spend the night before his birthday going out somewhere to watch this display. Since Sunday night was a clear night and promised good viewing Linda & I decided to do some star gazing – as a way of drawing us closer to Kevin - who lives on the other side of the country – and as a way of experiencing the grandeur of God’s creation.
While it was more of a drizzle than a shower it still was an impressive sight to see those brief blips of light streaking across the star filled shy. We drove out to a lake about 20k ((10 miles) north of the city to try to get away from the light pollution. There was still some backlighting from cottages and the occasional yardlight but it was dark enough that we could experience the stars and the meteor show. We arrived about 10 and stayed until 11:30 sitting out on our lawn chairs laying back to look at the night sky. I guess laying flat on a blanket might be better but this was easier on the “old bones” – although it did lead to a stiff neck from leaning back. We saw around a dozen “full fledged” meteor streaks and many other short blips. As I understand it we likely would have needed to stay until the wee hours of Monday morning to really get the full show but you have to be awake to see it and we were (or at least Iwas) already drifting off to sleep when we decided to call it quits and come home.
It was a great experience to sit quietly with the love of my life and commune with nature. There was a tremendous sense of closeness with her and with God that came in the silence and beauty of experiencing this.
If you’ll forgive a personal sentiment, I said to Linda afterwards that 40 years ago I probably would have missed a lot of the meteors because I would have been more interested in looking at and being more physically close to her. I thought it was something of significance that after 40 years we could experience a real and tangible closeness without touching or talking –
Well – other than that life continues. We have finished up the bulk of the yard work – for now. We are pushing ahead with the details of the wedding plans.
Monday, we were talking to a friend about obtaining a sound system for the event. He said he wanted to talk to us about it and it was too hectic at his store to do it there so he came over.
He had had major surgery about 6 weeks ago the remove a malignant tumor. The discussion on the sound system didn’t take long but he did need to talk about and share his anxieties and rejoicings that came as he discovered that what was thought to be a benign polyp turned out to be a cancerous mass and then the sense of relief and praising God when he discovered that there was no need for chemo because he was “cancer free”. Of course there is the ongoing risk of cancer re-developing and he will be having regular MRI’s to watch for that .
As Linda and I listened and gave encouragement as he shared his feelings and fears I thought of the instruction in 1 Peter 5 about “casting our anxieties on him (Jesus)” and was aware of how sharing our burdens with other Christians is an important part of that process.
(Modifying a statement that John made about love I thought “How can we cast our anxieties on Jesus whom we can’t see if we can’t share them with our Christian friends whom we can see?” I also thought about how important it was to simply listen to and affirm the reality of what he was experiencing in this emotional roller coaster and struggle to really give it over to God – rather than as I’m often tempted to do quoting “platitudes” about trust in God and things working for good -- which in effect is saying “there must be something wrong with you because you shouldn’t be feeling those fears and doubts”)
Well that’s enough for now
I dropped by a couple of blog sites last week that I hadn’t been to for awhile
Tim Archer has been “ruminating” on the relationship between worship and assemblyfor the past couple of months – He summarizes this study in his Augus6 post (click HERE).
Preacherman talks about “Walking with God”. I hadn’t been by to visit him for a long time. Some may remember that he was very ill with Guillian-Barre Syndrome as a child and experienced a (rare) reoccurrence last November. (click HERE for the report of this). He recently reported good progress on his recovery (click HERE). Reading his story let’s you see a living example of someone who has made the promise of Romans 8:28 very real in his live – finding good where many would find bitterness and despair.
Some other thoughts from “blog land”
Bobby Valentine suggests that all Christians need to be “theologians” -- probably a weird thought to many – Why not check it out and see why he thinks that? (Click HERE)
John Dobbs cautions us to look at ourselves before we put on the judges robes to pronounce sentence on others (click HERE)