“Starting Point” in the National Catholic Reporter (May 25, 2007).

Sunrises and sunsets get all the attention. And not that they shouldn’t – the burning sky deserves attention. Tonight, however, I glimpsed a “star-rise.”

It was approaching dusk and the sun had disappeared over the horizon. Light still filled the sky, though it became a shade darker with each passing minute.

My daughter climbed up on a bench, then onto the picnic table in the backyard. Then she laid down on her back, her eyes gazing skyward. I joined her, and there we laid on the hard wooden table, taking inventory of the sky.

Bats flew overhead on their nightly insect feast. Light winds blew leaves at the top of the trees. A late bird racing back home before dark.

But not a cloud in the sky. Blue as far as the eye could see. As minutes passed, the blue grew deeper and deeper.

Slowly we began to see faint specs of light at the “end” of the sky. Ever so slowly, like a sunrise in a distant galaxy, the lights grew the slightest bit stronger. It was as if God had a dimmer switch, and turned on the stars with the most patient turn of the knob. Minute by minute the lights brightened. It was as if this mysterious veil of the sky was being lifted, only to reveal a magnificent star field. In fact, the stars have been there all along, watching down but overshadowed by the sun.

It’s reassuring to know that the heavens are always there, if but we take the time to welcome them into our lives.

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