Saturday, August 10, 2013

starry, starry night

In the quote I posted on Monday, G.K. Chesterton commented on how Christianity had answered one of his own youthful thoughts about the universe:  "The fancy that the cosmos was not vast and void, but small and cosy, had a fulfilled significance now, for anything that is a work of art must be small in the sight of the artist; to God the stars might be only small and dear, like diamonds." 

I understood something of what Chesterton meant the other night when we went out to look at the night sky.  Living in a city we don't look at the sky all that often, but when we're here at Mom and Dad's in PEI we naturally have more opportunity to look at it in all its splendour.  

This night seemed particularly special.  It was about 10:30 p.m. and the air was calm.  A bright line of twinkling lights was clearly visible across the strait in Nova Scotia, including two sets of wind turbines whose red lights winked on and off.  But the sky over our heads was magical.  It was as if a dome filled with sparkling lights had been placed over the world.  On some nights you feel like you can count the stars, but this time that was impossible because there were so many visible -- and some kind of optical illusion made it seem to me that they were all linked together in a web.  We also saw several airplanes moving across the sky, their lights blinking. 

As I looked, I thought it was very much like Chesterton said:  the sky didn't seem distant and cold and impersonal.  It didn't give the feeling of being a meaningless speck in a massive void.  Instead, it seemed warm and cosy and close enough to touch.  It was comforting.

"Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? 
He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, 
by the greatness of his might, 
and because he is strong in power not one is missing."
- Isaiah 40:26

"And over all is the sky, the clear and crystalline heaven,
Like the protecting hand of God inverted above them."
- Evangeline, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


  1. I'm a stargazer, Jeannie. I totally get it. Love these quotes and thoughts today.

    Glad you got to spend some time in PEI. Maybe you and I could meet up there someday. Wouldn't that be fun?!

    1. That would be absolutely perfect, Adriana -- and I say that not as one of those things "oh wouldn't it be great IF," but something that I believe will happen! Looking forward to it!

  2. I love knowing that God has named each star. Do you remember that scene in Voyage of the Dawn Treader where one of the stars has been given an assignment on earth? God has made the universe so personal.

    1. That's beautiful. I must re (re-re) read the Dawn Treader sometime soon. It has such amazing passages.

  3. When the universe shares a piece of its splendor to us through a star-filled night I always wonder, "How can some not believe in a creator who designed this beauty?"
    I say this, not to be controversial or naive, but out of complete sincerity.

    1. I know what you mean, Sarah. I think that's what Chesterton felt too. I don't think it is in any way naive to think that the universe's beauty and order is evidence of a loving Creator. I can't "prove" anything scientifically, but I know it in my heart.


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