Give me my scallop-shell of quiet,
My staff of faith to walk upon,
My script of joy, immortal diet,
y bottle of salvation.
My gown of glory, hopes true gauge,
And thus I'll take my pilgrimage.

~Sir Walter Raleigh

A hiker, walking for pleasure, likes to choose between several alluring trails.
The pilgrim desires only the road that leads home.

~Frank W. Boreham

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Recurring Themes For Slow Learners

Being one of the Lord God's more dim witted sheep, I very much appreciate His longsuffering mercy.  One of the ways He reveals this is in offering themes in sequence.  And at some point in the sequence I begin to thread the gems together by a bit of pondering.  A lesson or final conclusion is revealed in time, not at the outset.

One of the latest themes was all about stars.  

Each night when the bedside lamp is put out, a galaxy appears on my ceiling.  The glow-in-the-dark stars were in place when we moved in.  I enjoy these briefly before sleep overtakes.  They first and foremost bring to mind a sweet memory shared the first time I encountered a similar ceiling.

Recently a conversation with Small Lad about stars took place.  We talked about The One who placed the stars in the sky and who named them all.

There was also a reference to stars in the night sky in an email from one Beloved who lives a life of stressful, demanding days.  Yet the calm and beauty of the overhead panorama did not go unnoticed.

But to this string of  bright little gems a glorious clasp was attached yesterday.    It was the grand concluding thought and point. My old dear friend George MacDonald wrote:

I looked up to the heavens once more, 
and the quietness of the stars seemed to reproach me.
'We are safe up here', they seemed to say;
'We shine, fearless and confident,
for the God who gave the primrose its rough leaves 
to hide it from the blast of uneven spring,
hangs us in the awful hollows of space.
We cannot fall out of His safety.
Lift up your eyes on high, and behold!
Who hath created these things
that bring out their host by number?
He calleth them all by names.
By the greatness of His might,
for that He is strong in power,
not one faileth.

MacDonald concludes with the question 'how can we think our way is hidden from His eyes?'

Night skies are awesome in their immensity and beauty.  We do well to appreciate all that.

But it is the awesome greatness of the Shepherd of the Stars of which we should make note.  Regardless of the hardness of our way, we are seen.  We too are named and held in place by our Creator God's unlimited power.

He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.
He determines and counts the number of stars;
He calls them all by their names.
 Great is our Lord and of great power;
His understanding is inexhaustible and boundless.
The Lord lifts up the humble and downtrodden;
...Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;
Sing praises to our God.
~Psalm 147.3-7

We may be 'hung in the awful hollows of space but we cannot fall out of His safety.'

We are safe for we are held.

Reason to sing indeed!


  1. Quite sometime since I have visited the blog rolls. I do this morning and such a gem awaits me. This dim witted sheep is brought even lower to the ground in the pasture as I read your words that both squeeze and expand my heart. Honored again to be in the same pasture as you under the Shepherd of the Stars.
    I am not a fallen star! I am ever upheld!
    Thank you again for rightly directing my praise this morning.
    Once again I add to my Dame Judi quote collection.

  2. God is in the details - and out in the open for all to see. How often do I miss the obvious?

  3. I was just thinking the other day, how I miss my ceiling stars...grateful they are enjoyed...grateful too, that in the vastness of this life, I am known by name.