I had been overawed by my experience as I had looked at the stars in the city when I heard my God call me His Beloved.
Now, ten days later we were in a different place, on the shore of an azure sea with golden sands, and few people.
I was in a tent. On a camp bed.
It was the first time I had camped for many years and I was finding this first night on my camp bed an interesting experience. Harder than my own familiar mattress. On this night, there was little between me and the ground, so the cold seeped in and I had been restless.
I was pleased to be there, don’t get me wrong. It was a treat, an exciting adventure, to go camping with these young people in this new land. But I have become used to my creature comforts and sleeping on an un-giving camp bed was a challenge. (The next night we found some extra padding and I slept like a baby!)
So there I was, lying awake, surrounded by my companions who were sleeping soundly. The little bed creaked as I moved around in it, so I tried to lie still. Moment by moment I became aware I would have to undo the zips and go for a walk to the nearest bathroom. Any attempt on my part that this was a figment of my imagination, failed.
It was time.
So I undid the zip, one tooth at a time, trying to be as quiet as possible. I had a small torch but did not want to turn it on in the tent, so everything was done by feel. I was glad I had put both torch and shoes beside my bed, ready for just such a contingency.
In spite of being as quiet as I could, I tripped on the slightly raised bottom of the opening and the whole tent shuddered. I froze, waiting for signs of movement inside. But no-one had heard, and breathing a sigh of relief I stood.
And looked up.
I had been star-struck in the city. But now the stars shone in all their glory.
Too many to count. There were the familiar larger stars, visible by the naked eye, even in city lights.
There was the Milky Way. When did I last saw the Milky Way? I had no binoculars or camera with me. Why would I? So I had to just stand and stare and take mind pictures of the magnificence of the sight.
Not a cloud in the sky.
And God holds them in the palm of His hand. The power and love of God had overwhelmed me when I had seen Orion’s Belt earlier in the month. Now the enormity of God astounded me. I mean I know, in my intellect, that God is big. But this was more than that. It was a dawning of understanding in my whole being, heart, soul, mind, of the indescribable magnificence of the God I worship and follow. The God who made me. The God who has called me Beloved.
And, as I stood in the dark, drinking in the glorious display that stretched above my head from horizon to horizon, from every point of the compass, I marveled at this God of mine. It was if the stars sang with my heart and together we worshipped our Creator.
Unexpected blessings! What a God!