When Nothing Else Matters but the Stars


We arrived late on Friday night. We arrived after the traffic from rush hour had died down, while people were out to eat or settled in front of televisions, ready to relax for the weekend.

We arrived when the sky was turning dark and the first thing we noticed were the stars. They were magnificent. The sky was clear, no clouds blocking the incandescent bodies. There was no light pollution, just quiet, dark, and stars.

We walked over toward the ocean in wonder. The ocean was behind us, the stars above us, seeming to get bigger and brighter with each step.

And suddenly nothing else mattered. The comings and goings of the past weeks, the conflict of a relationship that hurts the soul, the tiredness of my body and spirit, the work load and boredom of my job, the various hurts of friends and kids — none of that mattered. Suddenly it didn’t matter whether anyone ever read my blog again, whether my book ever sold another copy, whether the conference I am planning is successful. The things I think about and worry about seemed small, lost in the vastness of a clear spring sky. In one glorious moment, looking at those stars in the dark night, I didn’t care. I didn’t care about anything but the Heavens and the One who created them.

All that mattered were the stars. All of life made sense. My entire body and soul relaxed under those bright, beautiful stars. The easily identified Orion’s belt was directly above me and, though slightly turned, I thought I saw the Big Dipper to my left.

We knew the moment wouldn’t last, knew it was impossible to hold on to these moments of wonder, when all of life makes sense. But we still walked back slowly to the cottage, willing the moments to linger as long as possible.

But even that didn’t matter. All that mattered were the stars and their Maker. Long ago, halfway across the world in a different time and place, I had committed some words from a Psalm to memory. I memorized them in a place where the stars were so clear you could touch them, I put them in my heart when life was simpler, and trusting my Creator seemed easier. The words came to my mind as the only appropriate response to all that glory, and in saying them suddenly life became as simple as it once was:

Lord, our Lord,

how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory

in the heavens.

Through the praise of children and infants

you have established a stronghold against your enemies,

to silence the foe and the avenger.

When I consider your heavens,

the work of your fingers,

the moon and the stars,

which you have set in place,

what is mankind that you are mindful of them,

human beings that you care for them?

Verses from Psalm 8:1-4

Photo Credit: http://pixabay.com/en/sky-star-trees-light-night-710569/

9 thoughts on “When Nothing Else Matters but the Stars

  1. I love this Marilyn! I just had this same experience! For Khmer New Year we went up into the highlands of Cambodia, where it’s cool(er) and windy(er). The sky was much clearer up there; in Phnom Penh you can see about 5 stars. I could see planets, too. I saw Jupiter for the first time ever!!! Being near the equator, the sky looks so different than I’m used to in the Midwest. The Pole Star, along with the Big Dipper and Little Dipper, are closer to the horizon instead of up above, which means Jupiter is nearly straight overhead. Just look up, and see the biggest planet in our solar system right overhead. I am not kidding you, in that moment it felt like God made Jupiter just for me. I could imagine traveling all the millions of miles straight from Earth to Jupiter. How vast is our solar system — and that, a mere speck in the universe. I couldn’t stop staring at Jupiter those nights in Mondulkiri, on a mountain made of red dirt, reminiscent of Arkansas. Our God is amazing!


  2. Wow, I just had a moment like that this evening! After a busy week-end and stressful evening, I decided to take a walk in the coolness of the night. I came to a spot where the stars just shone so brilliantly, and had to stop and take them in. I was thinking of the same verses you quoted. It does seem that when we stop and consider the heavens, our other problems appear so small.


  3. So thankful you have your Cottage at Rockport, and a long holiday weekend just now. It reminds me of what our CBreeze beach hut meant to us in Pakistan. What a lot of work it was getting ready for that one week! Then once we got there – no noise except the sound of the waves. And at night the stars, the myriad of stars shining so brightly, reminding us of God, the Creator. Whatever stresses and burdens we had brought with us seemed to shrink down to nothing in relation to God and the Universe He had created in love for us and for His own glory.
    Thank you!


  4. I think Heaven will include stars and the sound of the ocean breaking against rocks…I can close my eyes and hear it – you did a great job describing the moment. Thank you…


  5. Marilyn,
    I can relate to this completely! Starry nights have a way of giving us pause and perspective the way few things can. Thanks for sharing this beautiful thought!


  6. Oh yes, He cares. As numberless as the stars above and the grains of sand below, we human beings are being cared for. What a reminder that He actually is mindful of us, each one of us. And He cares.


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