After a trying day, I stepped out into the cold January night to take a breather, to collect myself and get my bearings. Outwardly, I had displayed calm all day. I had said the right things, and done the right things. But it was all an act. Inwardly, I sounded much like the whistle of a train, whining loud and long into the night. We all have bad days, and it had been one of those when everything and everybody got on my nerves. If attitudes smelled, mine was stinking up the yard.
Walking to the end of the sidewalk, I looked straight up into a black sky. A multitude of stars twinkled back at me, like so many diamonds, leaving me breathless and feeling small. I’ve always found solace in nature and hoped that held true tonight.
I was alone, and, yet, I sensed God’s presence near. At once, I felt an urge to pray and got right to it. “Dear Lord,” I said out loud, lifting my arms in the air as a sign of total surrender, unsure of what I would say next. “I know you see me,” I said. “I know you’re here with me on this sidewalk, Lord. You know every whimper in my heart, every murmur that I’ve hidden inside today; I’m not fooling you one little bit. But the good news is, you love me anyway, Lord, in spite of my attitude. You understand my weakness, my humanity, because, just like all of these magnificent stars that have been hanging in space since you spoke them into existence and commanded they stay put—just like all of them, you created me. You know me inside and out, and you love me like no one ever could on this earth. I’m your child, Lord. I’m your child.”
Right here, a tear trickled down my cheek, and then another and another, and before I knew it, my spirit had softened. I’d forgotten why I even came outside. My troubles suddenly seemed few and unimportant, my blessings as countless as the stars above.
I heard a door open and close behind me and soon felt Stan’s hands on my shoulders. Time deepened as we stood in silence, a knowing silence that needed no explanation. “It’s a beautiful night, isn’t it?” he said. “The stars are incredible.”
I relaxed and leaned back against him. “Yes, it is,” I whispered. “It’s a beautiful night.”
Endnote: If you know anything about cameras, you know a point-and-shoot-camera isn't capable of capturing stars in a black sky, but, by some miracle, if you look closely, I sort of did, even if only a handful of stars showed up.