Moments of Grace

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A couple of days ago, I had one of those grace moments.
I woke up earlier than usual and decided to take a walk. It was just before dawn as the first light been to chase away the darkness. We live in a suburban area and so very often there’s too much ambient light to see many stars, but at that time of the morning, many of those were turning off automatically. The sky was a crystal clear dark blue and there were more stars visible than one normally sees here and so I just stood outside my home and watched them, marveling at their beauty and brightness, grateful to be a part of that Great Mystery in which, as one Christian scripture says, “we live and move and have our being.”

And then, one star appeared in the sky, moving in an easterly direction at a pretty fast pace. At first I thought it was an airplane, but then realized it was too high and there were no blinking lights. But it wasn’t moving fast enough to be a shooting star, either. Every few seconds, small glimmers of light would appear around the larger “star.” Suddenly I realized that it was the Intentional Space Station which is visible to the naked eye under certain conditions.
For some reason, as I watched, I began thinking about the recent horrors in Paris and Beirut and Kenya and other places in our war-weary world. I thought about the plight of our sisters and brothers and their children escaping Syria and seeking refuge. And then, as I watched, I realized just what infinite possibility humankind has for doing great things, for co-operation, for exploration, and for making our world a better place. I offered up a quiet “Thanks” to the Divine and one to the people on the ISS. I gave them a little wave “goodbye,” too, as I watched until it disappeared past the horizon.
I’m not sure how many times the ISS has passed above my home. Probably thousands. But there’s now a little place in my heart of attachment to these fellow human beings doing the important work that they do on behalf of all of us.
And a little bit more hope.
By the way, you can go online and find out when the ISS will be passing over your area by clicking this link:
http://iss.astroviewer.net/observation.php
Check it out. And give a wave to the good folk on board as they speed by!
Peace and Light,
Paul