Settings and Risings on a Sleepless Night

It had been a busy day as we packed boxes to send to mission works overseas. I had watched Linda closely, as she had to force herself to stay alert but was determined to make progress–not giving in to the temptation to stop everything and have a pity party about chemotherapy and not feeling good. By the time dinner was done and night had arrived, she was ready to sleep. After some conversation and prayer, I headed to the back yard to take a peek at the evening sky, which was clear. The temperatures were unseasonably warm. I grabbed a sketch pad, set up a reflecting window with some 16 power binoculars, and started a quick sketch of Auriga, which was settling in the West just above Little Yellow Mountain’s tree line. After this eyes-only sketch, I moved to the left of the paper to sketch the well known clusters in Auriga constellation with the binoculars and the reflecting window. Here is the sketch:

I went to bed around midnight but could not easily go to sleep. Linda was having trouble sleeping also. We talked earlier in the day about the doctor’s prognosis of her cancer, our request for God to intervene, and a few other important things. About this time (6 days after a regimen of chemo drugs was administered) the body starts to clear the drugs but the white blood count plunges. After decades of marriage and seeing this process too many times in the past, I know when things are not right. Her temperature was below normal and she could not stay warm. We both eventually got to sleep, but hers was interrupted several times. At 5 am I bolted awake, checked her (she was fine), and went outside for breath of early morning air. The moon was rising above an Eastern haze layer and clouds were overtaking the area quickly. Morning light was just beginning to affect the skies. I could not sleep anyway, so I grabbed a piece of grey paper and pastels and started to work.  As I thought of the evening’s quick sketch around Auriga, our talks together the day before, and the scene before me, I was struck with the greatness of our God. I was reminded how He shows the heavens to mark time and how they illustrate how big He is compared to our immediate circumstances. I retreated to a passage in John, where John the Baptist speaks of having to decrease because it was time for Christ to increase. In our view, it is a safe place to decrease or humble ourselves to Him. It is a place of protection–under His wing, so-to-speak. It puts life’s troubles, including this nasty case of cancer, in perspective. We live in a broken world, but as He rises in our hearts it is the same as life rising in our soul. So whether we live or die, we live in Him. Walking through these temporary things is just a part of it, and walking takes time. The time is marked by the dance between the celestial sphere and earth’s rotation. That is the way he designed it. Here is the second sketch:


About Roland

We avidly enjoy teaching about and observing God's creation. We are active in Christian mission work that often takes us to the Philippines and Asia. the observation of God's creation in terms. Part of the outreach and work is to maintain a site: [or use]. This site includes inspirational blogs, free downloadable courses, and a history of the charity organization. We aim to share the love of Jesus Christ, who has graciously extended his love to us. Our faith is a walking faith, so faith and works, as much as we are able, are married together.
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2 Responses to Settings and Risings on a Sleepless Night

  1. Teresa Simmons says:

    Love both of you. Praying with you.

    • rolandlinda3 says:

      Thanks, Teresa. You cannot keep a good woman down….she headed for ETS this morning to pick up some medical supplies that will head to ANM to be shipped to Philippines. She may be a little weak, but that does not stop her. 🙂

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