четверг, 27 октября 2011 г.

A Message in the Sky

By Dayle Allen Shockley

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
~Psalm 34:18

One evening, feeling anxious and longing for solitude, I stepped out into a quiet October night and walked to the towering pine in my front yard. Slumping down onto the cool ground, I pulled my legs close for warmth. Overhead, the sky stretched wide like a dark blanket as sounds of the night swirled around me.

The past few months had been filled with unspeakable sadness. At forty-seven, my sister found herself facing an unwanted divorce, ending a marriage of twenty-six years -- a marriage nobody ever expected to end, and for reasons that could only be described as heartbreaking.

Since hearing the news, not a day had gone by that I didn't find myself overcome with grief. I pleaded with God to change hearts and minds, but it appeared the heavens were brass.

I'm not sure what I expected on this particular night, but an urgency consumed me as I sat there. I needed an answer. I had to know that God was still out there listening.

"Where are you, Lord?" I said, my words coming out in desperate sobs. "I need to know that you are with me in all of this turmoil and grief. I need to know that you hear me. Can you hear me, God? I need to know!"

My frantic plea floated across the lawn and faded into the night. I waited, anxious for a sign. A bird singing. A wind chime catching the breeze. Something indicating that God had heard me.

But there was only silence of the deepest kind.

With a heavy heart, I leaned back against the trunk of the pine and closed my eyes, letting the tears fall. I don't remember how long I sat there, but I will never forget what happened next.

When I opened my eyes, there, suspended in the blue heavens directly in front of me, framed perfectly between the branches of a neighbor's tree, was what appeared to be the biggest diamond I had ever seen.

An enthusiastic observer of the heavenly bodies, I knew immediately that it was the magnificent Venus. Though it's often called the morning and evening "star," Venus is not a star at all. Venus is a planet -- the most brilliant planet in the solar system, so brilliant it can often be seen in daylight hours.

Had I been sitting two inches to the left or to the right, I would have missed this sight altogether. But there it was -- Venus, flickering in a stunning display of colors. Its light entered my grief and took my breath away.

I knew it was God's gift to me -- the sign I had longed for -- because, for the first time in a long time, I felt Him there, filling the vast space around me. And I sensed that He was reassuring one of his despondent children: I am here, dear child. Morning and evening, I will always be here.


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