This is the second in a weekly series leading up to Thanksgiving. Join the conversation at #3WeeksofThanks.
The most remarkable thing happened this week.
The full moon rose in a clear sky.
Most months I don’t really pay attention to the phases of the moon, but the first full moon in fall is my favourite. Paired with the brilliance of rose-gold sunrises and brilliant coral-red sunsets, a harvest moon on a clear, warm night is just one of the most incredible beauties of the year.
We got the kids out of bed the other night and took them to the backyard to catch a glimpse.
“Whoa, that’s huge!” they marvelled.
We stood for a few minutes in the chill of the evening, barefoot on the grass, soaking in the beauty of the night sky. Then it was back to bed.
As I was tucking them in for the second time, one whispered, “Thanks for showing us that cool full moon, Mom.”
My heart swelled. “You’re welcome, sweetheart.”
This morning I peeked out the window to see the moon was full and pale, on its way to bed, with Mars for its sidekick. “Hey kids, come check this out!” I said.
At first they couldn’t see it, but then their eyes filled with disbelief. “That’s Mars?!”
We pulled out an iPad app that confirmed our suspicions and they rushed off to tell their dad what they had seen.
It was remarkable to see the gorgeous harvest moon and Mars in the morning light, but it was even more remarkable that these created things point our family to the One who made everything and holds it all together.
Especially this week, when the grief of loss and disappointment grips us at different times in different ways. We’re rolling along through our new and very different routine when all of the sudden we remember that this pandemic life isn’t what we signed up for but here we are and what do we do with all these big feelings?
Creation serves to remind us that this life is not some random collection of pointless events that end the hollow emptiness of death. There is order and design delicately woven together with intricate, breathtaking beauty. Isn’t it a gift that we’ve had to spend so much time outside in the past six months?
Yesterday after another amazing ruby-red sunset, my 9 year old daughter teased me, “Mom, I know your favourite season is fall. Every time we drive anywhere you’re always like, ‘look at the beautiful colours! Or look at that awesome sunset’! Like, we get it! You love fall!”
I laughed, but I just know that one day the kids will remember their how cheesy mom loved to show them things in nature. And I hope that in 20 years when they see an ordinary hillside suddenly ablaze with fall colours or sit under a giant harvest moon, or look up to notice even a tiny star winking in the darkness, they’ll remember these little moments when heaven touches earth and makes the ordinary extraordinary. I am praying that this collection of memories, paired with the things we’ve taught them and the experiences they’ve had will remind them that there is more to this life than our difficult circumstances.
In the words of my wise mother, “This too shall pass”. For millennia, the world has turned on its axis and revolved around the sun. And every generation has faced its challenges, some much more devastating that our current experiences. And yet, stories of hope and resilience shine through. Why is that? Because God did not make the world and abandon it. He is here, He is working. He always has been and always will be.
Colossians 1:15-17 (NIV) spoke to my heart this week:
“The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”
In Him, all things hold together. Think about that for a moment. If He is the key, even now, even in this moment in history, we have nothing to fear.
“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” (Colossians 2:6-7)