The glittering stars.
It isn’t every night that the stars are so wonderfully brilliant, but the nights that are, are so stunning. The memory of the clear nights and the time spent in the wonder of the heavens is part of the foundation that makes you feel insignificant and yet humbled by the love of the Creator. The different times of the year when the planets come along and change the whole dynamic, spinning through the different houses of the zodiac and the constellations. Larger and different colors, the planets lend a bit of variety to the slow-moving dance that is the star palette. The fun times when the dipper is upside down and Drago’s tail is over his head. It is fun to point out the constellations to the people that don’t see them. Trying to gain clarity and placement in the midst of so many stars. Some people don’t get it. The non-moving North Star, and the awe of the Northern Lights.
Humbled by the impotence on an overcast night, we realize that the memory is all that we have to hold us to the hope of the next clear night. The times of hope and the history of the past allow us to be in the here and now, to endure the present until the fulfillment of the hope is complete. The next part of that truth is that the stars are there all day. Always. That truth is lost on so many, that the stars never leave. We lose sight of them in the glare of the days’ activities, but that doesn’t mean that they went away. Just because we can’t see the ocean doesn’t mean it left… It only means that we need to go where the ocean, or the stars are. In our memory. The potency of our yesterday is the resilience of our today. The knowledge that the stars came back after the foggy night, is the same knowledge that they are there now. Why do I need to wait for the them? I can remember them in the foggy nights and in the days, and in the hope of tomorrow.
I love the stars, but I don’t need to wait for the night to see their brilliance. In the face of painful violations, I can recall the forgiveness. Sometimes I need a reminder, though. A reminder to remember. I don’t need to be told of the forgiveness, I know it is there. Some that I have been given. Some that I have given to others. Sometimes it is a bit later, that my vision clears, to see it though. Sometimes it is tough to be strong enough to survive.
I don’t need to wait for the evening, or the fog to lift, I can see the stars, in my mind. Even in the midst of the wind and the rain, while I may know, I feel alone, in the dark, and can hear the loneliness coming. Rainbows and stars and hope all seem distant at times like this. He told me they were there and that is enough for my mind but not my confidence. He told me they were there, and I don’t even need to believe Him. They are there when I don’t see them, and when I do see them, and when I don’t want to see them.
With the knowledge that they are there, and like the forgiveness that is there, it has shone down on me, and with it comes the knowledge that I need to forgive. To forgive when it is foggy and sunny and hot and cold. Even when it is dark, and I am alone with the stars, and my pain. Stars are not the only things that twinkle with a bit of light. So too, the tears are there. It is like a constellation that some just don’t see, it is there for you, in the dark. In the overcast. The rainy night, behind the clouds, and always in the daytime. In the foggy and stormy times. The stars are not subject to me seeing them, they don’t even care, they just fulfill their calling. Likewise, the treasure of forgiveness is this: the other person may be gone or dead, and when I forgive them they won’t even know, and I gain. And I smile. And I am at ease. I don’t win because they lost. I win because I turned the table and let go of the fear. The fear that the justice will be late… or not happen at all. The fear that I am impotent to repel the blows. To forgive is to free yourself from the bondage. It actually only shows up to others if you tell them or act better toward them. If they are gone, this cannot happen. If they are not, it only “may” happen. It is your choice. It is your pain. It is your gift, it just doesn’t feel that way in the midst of the storm.
Sometimes, the gift is too much. Too much to ask of me, when I am weak. Too much when I am weary. Perhaps, one day soon, but I need a pass for this moment in time. Right now, I could use a little bit of clear sky, just to remind me of the hope. The sharp snap of the lightning, the strength of the rolling thunder, reveal the power of your mighty right hand, but I could use a bit of the control on the placement for a couple hours… Or so I ponder…
And then, what…? Spent and wrung out and you talk about stars. Broken and hollow and empty from the tears… and you speak of forgiveness. Later, I say. Later when you are safe. Not quite yet, not this minute. Find the corner and wait it out. This storm is like others. Loud and angry. Windy and scary, perhaps. But passing. Count the lightning before the thunder to tell if it is passing or still coming. Phone a friend. Hug the dog. Yell and cry. The stars are still there, patiently waiting to be seen when this is done. The gift will change you. The forgiveness too.
You will be something other than you were, and you cannot know what that looks like. When you have “become” you will be able to tell your tale. Talk of the dark night. Talk of the fear. Lean into the anger of the struggle. The limp of this struggle will be your gift. Your walk will not be the same ever again. This gift, you did not want, but it is yours. If you lean into it, it will be the light in your story. The light of hope on a dark night. The telling of your story of surviving the storm. You then become a light in the dark for someone else needing a star to shine. Sometimes they will sit and listen and sometimes they will only see from afar. You may not even know, and that is alright. You didn’t do it for them. Shine anyway. You are a star.
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