I couldn’t sleep last night. Maybe it was my ribs still hurting (which seem to be working on the “I’m almost better so I can do things today to the following day’s oh no I’m not because I did too much” theory of healing!), or it could have been the wine I drank last night and the very nice pumpkin pie, or it could be listening to the storm outside and then being woken by the full moon peaking through the clouds. In the end I decided I might as well get up and have a cup of sleepytime tea.
We’ve got a couch in the bay window of our living room so I curled up on the couch with my drink, opened the living room curtains and there was the moon looking back at me. Then it went and hide for a bit behind some white cloud. There was an awesome looking cloud up there, a storm cloud, that looked like fingers stretching across the sky which was being lit by the light from the full moon. And as I watched it seemed like the moon burned away those whiter clouds and hung there with a golden ring around it. I wish I had taken a photo but I knew that by the time I switched on my phone, got distracted by the messages on it, and sorted the camera out, that moment would have gone. So I just sat and enjoyed the moment.
The trees across the road from me were being battered by the wind, leaves being ripped from them, street lights twinkling as the branches swept back and forth. But high in the sky that black finger-like cloud was hardly moving, the moon was hanging there. Everything in the upper reaches of the sky was calm and still. It made me think of how often we are only looking at our chaos of the moment, the stuff we are battling through for now. And that is not to dismiss what is going on now. This week a friend’s nephew died in his sleep, another friend’s neighbour’s 5 year old was buried, another friend’s mum is in hospital but she can’t go and visit her because of lockdown restrictions. There is chaos, destruction and a storm raging down here on earth at the moment. But what that sky above was telling was that if we can look up – again to the “where does your hope come from?” – there is strength and calm. As Oscar Wilde is reputed to have said “we are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars.” I wonder if he meant the Glory of God. [discussion on Oscar Wilde’s faith maybe another time???]
The moon is always there. The moon is always full but often it does not show us it’s fullness. I think God is like that too, always there but not always showing the fullness of God. I am learning that my hope is not always in what God does but in who God is. My trust is not in what God does but in who God is. For too long I’ve been lookng at what God does and been disappointed but if I can look to who God is then I have hope, trust and joy even when there is a storm rampaging through my world. I can reach upwards for the stillness that is always promised which will give me the peace and strength to deal with the storms of here on earth.