There was a scene in the movie “Contact” in which the protagonist, Ellie Arroway, is propelled on a cosmic voyage across time and space. She gets to a place where the awesome majesty of the heavens is spread out before her and she gawks at what she is seeing and stammers, “No –no words. No words to describe it. Poetry! They should’ve sent a poet. So beautiful. So beautiful…I had no idea.” They should’ve sent a poet.
Nearly every morning when I rise I peer out of the windows at the heavens–on the dark nights of midwinter, I stare out at the skies, searching out and finding whatever planets are gracing the night sky, and locating the few constellations that I know well and I exhale. I am grateful that I live in a place that gets nicely dark with few city lights to spoil the vistas. As the sun begins to peek through the trees at the back of our property, I am struck by the fiery beauty reflecting off the still water on the pond. I take a picture of this scene nearly every day, I can’t help myself. I probably have hundreds of photos of the sun rises over the pond. Every day I look out in anticipation, and on clear days I am rewarded. They should’ve sent a poet.
The ancient songwriter, David, ponders the question: “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, that you have set in place, who are we humans that you pay attention to and care for us?” At times it’s possible to feel dwarfed by the majesty of nature, and yet at the same time, one can feel an amazing sense of oneness and connection with everything.
I know, you might be asking what this has to do with Lent and 40 days and such. The short answer is perhaps nothing. But I have to believe that maybe Jesus had days when after a long day of feeding souls and healing bodies and preaching, he climbed up away from everyone and lay on his back looking up into the millions of stars and planets blazing in the heavens