Today I quietly watched and listened to my wife. The second and third days after chemo are usually the worst, but she was talking about getting things to put on 4 pallets for our friends in Uganda, sorting more things to send to our friends in the Philippines, and a short trip tomorrow to a ministry to find some particularly useful things to go to Africa. She does all this while she does not feel good, cannot stay alert more than a few hours at a time, and is having trouble with some basic things. Her sea of circumstances is raging against what she wants to accomplish. So we pray, and pray again, and rest, and pray again, but we keep moving. Giving the insidious disease any credit at all by not continuing things important to her is unthinkable. That is the way her faith in God operates.
A few hours later, while she was sleeping, I ventured outside under a clear sky. The “Winter Hexagon”, as it is called, is high in the sky and dominates a large part of the central/southern skies in the early evening. The heavens were quiet but majestic. For us, it is spring. So the tree frogs (we call them peepers) are making a racket. But the heavens are quiet. Yet, their message is louder than any sound: our God is truly majestic. And to place such an array of major constellations and stars that form this ‘circle’ that is noticeable several months of the year by most of the earth’s population is simply incredible.
I took the time with just my eyes to run past Capella in Auriga, Castor and Pollux at the outer side of Gemini, Procyon in Canis Major, Sirius–our brightest star, Rigel at the outer side of Orion, and Aldebaran in Taurus. These form the outer ring of dominant stars for the hexagon. It was clear enough for me to take a set of binoculars and find fuzz balls (clusters) and asterisms (patterns of stars that form shapes) all over the big circle.
Inside, my wife remained asleep. Her raging circumstances continue. But we both trust in the One who made the “Winter Hexagon” that we are not alone. This is not just a personal note. One reason we take the heavens to teachers in developing areas is because many of those regions are full of poverty or conflict or disease. At night, however, we can take someone in the midst of those circumstances and show them the same heavens, speak of the same God who made them, and assure them they are not forgotten.