In 1947 Margaret Wise Brown wrote a book for children, a line from it says “Goodnight room. Goodnight moon. Goodnight cow jumping over the moon. Goodnight light and the red balloon…”I thought of it a few moments ago and my heart had that little swelling feeling that comes with great emotion. I walked outside on the deck and the cold night air hit me in the face. I drew in a long, deep breath of the cold, clear air and inhaled the memories of standing in a sandy lane in South Georgia at the old home place of my great-grandmother, Minnie. I could smell the smoke rising through a chimney from the fireplace filled with logs and I thought I had never inhaled an aroma that made me feel any better than that, the one possible exception might be if someone has mercy on me and makes coffee early in the morning, that wonderful aroma wafting up to my bedroom can wake me quicker than the alarm on the side of my bed can. But I digress… as I stood on the deck I looked up at the sky and it was so clear that all the stars stood out against the blackness the way diamonds on velvet in the showroom sparkle under the jewelers light. The Big Dipper was just to the left of where I was standing and as I stared at it I could hear my dad giving the illustration that he always used whenever he was speaking of Gods greatness and generosity in giving us the things of which we have need, “If you look up into the sky and find the Big Dipper you see how large it is, then look until you locate the Little Dipper. You see friends Gods gift to us are like trying to pour the contents of the Big Dipper into the Little Dipper…they just overflow…” At that moment I wanted to close my eyes and be lifted up into the greatness of the sky and just disappear into the atmosphere, however it didn’t happen, I was so cold I had to come in and close the door.
Psalm 8:3-4 says “I look up at your macro-skies, dark and enormous, your handmade sky-jewelry, Moon and stars mounted in their settings. Then I look at my micro-self and wonder, Why do you bother with us? Why take a second look our way?”
If you peel back all my layers you will find there is still the fragment of a girl left deep down. I was concerned with looking beautiful when I was young, I read all the magazines and tried all the make-up tricks. As the years passed and the styles changed I kept up pretty good and I still use all the eye make-up I got so fond of in my youth, I don’t like lipstick also a throw back to those days, and I can’t lose my “teasing brush” as hard as I might try.
Our society is obsessed with our appearance and the way people perceive us has everything to do with how we present ourselves. People get face-lifts, tummy tucks, breast augmentation, Botox in all possible cracks and crevices in our face and neck; diet to lose fat, gain muscle, look younger, or simply to wear a smaller size jeans. What is all the falderal about? What possible difference does it make in the larger picture of life?
I look at photos of children starving, every bone in their body showing through a layer of skin that has no cushion of fat in it. They are worried about where their next meal will come from not counting calories. I have seen a woman who was so scarred on her face and neck from being burned she was beyond any recognition of her former self, yet when she looked at you with her kind eyes and sweet spirit, her loving attitude so soothing to her loved ones that you forgot her scars and only saw her soul. There have been both women and men that had a pleasant outward appearance and you thought them attractive until they opened their mouth and their sour, self-absorbed attitude so prevailed that you no longer saw them as attractive but as the hateful human being they really were. I repeat something I said last week, my mother always answered my question of how I looked with “Pretty is as pretty does!”
God loves beauty and tonight’s beautiful sky is proof of that but even better is when you look in the eyes of a baby, there you can see the eternal God, Creator of all man looking back at you. Let us be blanketed with that beautiful mantle of holiness and let the Spirit of the Lord shine through for beauty that cannot be matched, the beauty of holiness!
Going back to Psalm 8 David was overcome with the beauty of all creation and he said as he looked heavenward “Oh Lord, my Lord, how excellent is your name in all the earth, what is man that you are mindful of him?” I agree.