Monday, September 28, 2015

Monday, September 28, 2015

 Psalm 8:1-4

Lord, our Sovereign,
   how majestic is your name in all the earth! 
You have set your glory above the heavens. 
   Out of the mouths of babes and infants
you have founded a bulwark because of your foes,
   to silence the enemy and the avenger. 
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
   the moon and the stars that you have established; 
what are human beings that you are mindful of them,
   mortals that you care for them? 

Copper moon

I understand little of the science that governs the course of moons and planets. My grace is wonder and memory, which leads to praise.

So I will praise the Maker of copper moons who turns our eyes from tiny screens to embrace a better light. For a few hours in the night we were awakened again, as human once more and, I hope, as humble as our most ancient relatives who gazed in awe at skylight.

Preachers with overheated imaginations said the red moon was a sign of apocalyptic events soon to shake the world. I will leave them to their idle speculations.

What shakes my heart is the privilege of being a human soul elevated to silence as Earth’s shadow paints the moon’s face and wisps of cloud filter the ever-changing hues.

One night long ago, I walked with Professor Holm as we left the library on a brilliant October evening. He stopped and looked up. “God probably has other children, up there, David,” he said and paused. “And they’re probably better than us.”

I don’t know why he said that to me or why I should remember it nearly 40 years later. Maybe he wanted me to keep myself and ambitions in proper cosmic perspective. Maybe he just wanted to share a moment of peace under an autumn sky.

Near the end of his days … maybe he was just grateful that he could soak in … once more … the miracle of the universe … and of his own life.

Maybe he knew what I now know: Gazing at copper moons saves us from ourselves.

We feel how great we are … and how very small … all at once, awakened to gratitude at being alive … and human … and here … for whatever time we have.

Praise to the One who speaks in copper moons. Thank you for making me human … once more.

Pr. David L. Miller