Sometimes you have to get away. It is not that we cannot rest or find God at home, but some situations demand a change in environment and activity to accomplish what is needed. The seriousness of Linda’s health situation demanded some time set apart from work at home and the normal hubub in Virginia. We also wanted a place where we could seek the Lord, pray, worship, and have the input of friends. As much as we like to observe the heavens, we did not take any equipment to see the heavens on this trip except for a little binocular. Jamie and Diane had cleared their schedule for us. Having been friends for a long time and having a purposeful ministry focused on worship and prayer, Kings Ranch was a perfect destination.
The San Joaquin Valley would be desert except for irrigation but with irrigation it is a farm basket that stretches for well over a hundred miles. The flat topography and the amount of farm activity means the lower atmosphere is full of particulate matter most of the time, although skies are clear.
After a couple days of prayer and worship and fellowship, I rose early on the third morning of our trip to see the waning crescent. I grabbed a quick sketch and remembered a verse that is sometimes disconcerting but nonetheless true. It was a good morning to give thanks.
The next morning the crescent beautiful but lacking detail because of the low haze. Jupiter and Venus were in the scene and the three made a very pretty spectacle. By the time the sun rose I realized that the sun would rise in the middle of a wind swept tree in my foreground. It was good morning to give thanks.
We were nearing the end of our time apart on the 18th. 3 days of time aside for mostly prayer and worship was a blessing. While we had not received any particular indication from the Lord regarding our situation and Linda’s health, our souls were being refreshed and His peace was evident. Linda wanted to rise with me on the 18th to catch the crescent. It was beautiful. Jupiter was still in the scene although Venus was pretty low and harder to see. So we observed and sketched His handiwork for a few minutes. As usual, I tended to grab the scene as is while she was impressionistic. It’s funny how we approach things differently. I really liked her rendering but she liked mine. Here is hers:
I did the basic scene but put the planetary bodies in inverted color (dark instead of white).
The next morning Jamie joined me to see if we could catch the crescent just above the mountain ridge in the far distance. We could not. The haze was too thick and the crescent was only giving a little over 1% of its potential light. Nevertheless, we had a delightful time talking about the Lord’s work in the heavens as well as us.
We stayed five days total. I don’t often get to be in a place where I can see the waning crescent at the end of a cycle. Taking this kind of time apart to seek God and pray and worship is also a rare event. Sometimes you have to do it, however, and it demands a more dramatic stoppage of regular life to do it. We did not regret the time. It was a good week to give thanks. Thanks Jamie and Diane….for being an important part of our time with Him.