In hazy Southern California we’re lucky if we can spot more than ten stars on any given night (not counting airplanes). It wasn’t until my family went stargazing in the smogfree Sierra Nevada that I found out why the nursery rhyme compares twinkling stars to diamonds.
Few sights in nature are as humbling or thought-provoking as the night sky ablaze with stars, meteors, and pearly swaths of the Milky Way’s spiral arms. For this reason, stargazing can present excellent opportunities to foster spiritual (and scientific!) discussions with kids, teens, and skeptical friends and family.
Members of the RTB Fresno, CA Chapter know the power of stargazing for instigating spiritual dialogue. For several years the chapter has unobtrusively represented RTB at annual stargazing parties hosted by the National Park Service in Yosemite. “Being outdoors in a spectacular setting lends itself to opening people’s hearts,” says chapter president Kerry Arroues. He recalls that four strangers approached him for conversations about spiritual issues at one of these events. People often look to the night sky for signs and answers, but Scripture tells us to turn to the Creator of the stars for answers and hope (Deuteronomy 10:14). The God who “determines the number of stars and calls them each by name” (Psalm 147:4) is also the Savior who invites us into His family (Revelation 22:17).
Summer nights are a great time for a drive or camping trip to a dark spot where city lights (and hazy skies) won’t interfere with the view. You never know what kind of conversations God’s magnificent handiwork might spark.
By Maureen Moser