We live out in rural Wisconsin. It’s kind of easy for me to get caught up in some of the negatives of Midwest living.
Think subzero, hurts to breathe, snot freezes in your nose kind of winters and two week long summers.
But I’m getting better at learning to stop and appreciate the things I overlook in my hypothermia. Like the fact that our view of the night sky is unobstructed and undiluted. Unobstructed because we’re in the middle of fields and undiluted because we’re a fifteen minute drive from a gallon of milk and subsequently any “city” lights.
We’re currently experiencing our two weeks of incredibly gorgeous summer in which we have defrosted enough to turn the air conditioning on and break out the bug spray for our state bird, (the only one that survives the winter) the mosquito. We often stay up and outside as late as possible to enjoy every moment of it.
So yesterday I got to look at that beautiful night sky, not from behind iced and snow blown windows, but from the patio, reeking of “Deep Woods”.
It was magnificent.
How often do I pass a cursory glance over that expanse and only see those scattered few, bright, blessings shining down?
I sat listening to children bouncing on a trampoline, squealing with mock outrage over an overzealous sibling with a hose full of teeth chattering well water. I sat laughing, as our newly acquired (officially egg laying) chickens squawked over the commotion and ran crazy poultry circles around their coop.
And content, I gazed up. Focused in. To those bright, obvious, stars and then past them. As I panned across that sky, a thousand more came to my attention. These blessings aren’t as bright. They seem to get lost in the vastness in which they’ve been scattered, but the sheer volume of them is breathtaking.
Lord! How I overlook your blessings!
Oh, I see those that are closest at hand, that shine the brightest from here. I see the obvious food on the table, clean water from taps and roof over our heads. I see the ones that are measured biggest from my current vantage point.
But what about the others?
The ones that from here, under the heavens, appear so much smaller and less significant.
The gift of less. Is that a star, or a meteor? I can’t quite tell from here…
The gift of trial. Perhaps it’s a passing plane or satellite? Maybe if I squint…
The gift of the broken AC, water heater and car. The disability denial. The breast lump. The endless special forms that come with special needs. Certainly if I had a better vantage point, I’d see them more clearly?
And I think, someday I will. Someday I’ll look down on them from above and I can’t help but think those stars that wink so small from here, will flare brightest in light of eternity. Those blessings so much harder to distinguish living in the world will be clearest in their proximity to the Light of The World.
But some of them He shows me here. When His telescoping Spirit reveals small glimpses of what it must be like to gaze down on the twinkling blanket of blessings He’s laid over me.
Remember that lump of last month? That sure didn’t shine brightly as my biggest blessing when first I glimpsed it.
Then they told me it was precancerous. That these lesions are only found via mammography because they spread outward, instead of up, without forming a palpable lump. That I was two years from my first mammogram and if I hadn’t had that cyst that prompted the imaging, which found the lesion…..
And that cyst? It disappeared a few days after the partial mastectomy that removed all trace of the lesion with clean margins and no further treatment.
Some blessings sure shine brighter than others…. depending on my vantage point.