Being There is Like a Thousand Pictures

March 13, 2003

The heavens are telling the glory of God and the firmament proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours forth speech and night to night declares knowledge.  There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard; yet their voice goes out through all the earth and their words to the end of the world. ~ Psalm 19:1-4 NRSV

I’m part of an informal sunrise/sunset club. There are no membership dues, no application, just a mutual affinity for noticing sunrise and sunset. It’s not unusual for one of us to text or call with the words, “Have you seen the sunrise?” or “Have you seen the sunset?” It’s not that any of us sets an alarm to remind us to stop and pay attention. It is simply that we do stop and pay attention, as if a flicker of color or light being painted on the horizon catches our eye. And then, comes a text, or at least the thought “I hope ______ is seeing this. And believe me, for some reason the sunrises and sunsets in the Shenandoah are outstanding.

In the past few weeks, there was a sunrise and a sunset in which the entire sky, from east to west, horizon to horizon was painted with the most amazing shades of red, with splashes of yellows and gold that danced on puffy clouds. Words fail when I try to describe it, and photos simply cannot capture the vastness and depth of the real thing. Believe me, I’ve tried.

Dan White, a friend of Rod’s from Hawaii, wrote, “If a picture is worth a thousand words, then being there is worth a thousand pictures.” I suppose that is what the Psalmist tries to describe in Psalm 19. Eugene Peterson, in The Message Bible translates it this way, “God’s glory is on tour in the skies,  God-craft on exhibit across the horizon. Madame Day holds classes every morning,   Professor Night lectures each evening. Their words aren’t heard, their voices aren’t recorded, but their silence fills the earth:  unspoken truth is spoken everywhere.”

There are no doubt scientific reasons for such outstanding natural occurrences including cloud cover, particulates in the atmosphere, and the angle of the sunlight. But that doesn’t account for paying attention to the present moment. For the alarm-less awakening to the sky and the Creator who set it all in motion, I give thanks today.

Being there – in the present moment – is priceless. ~ Anne

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1 thought on “Being There is Like a Thousand Pictures

  1. Martha Chamberlain March 14, 2023 — 10:36 am

    AWE – SOME indeed!


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