A child squinted through the telescope. Some children were so short you had to hold them to the eyepiece, but everyone wanted to see, whether old or young. One time I was in a tiny village school that served the mountain people nearby. The sky was clouded, until it was time to look at something. For a half hour there was one hole in the sky. The chief, the children, and teachers looked with binoculars, a tiny scope, and just their eyes as I explained the Pleiades and the created heavens. Another time, two little girls came out to the little basketball court to observe an open cluster with me. I have lost count how many times we have done this.
I cannot describe without emotion what it is like to show the poor or orphans or teachers without resources the sights of the heavens. I explain their general characteristics and how they relate to the Creator who made them. The only reason most had never seen them before was because of where they were born or the limits of their resources.
When Faylene and I have a chance to observe alone, we enjoy it. However, it is also valuable practice for seeing, sketching, and talking at the same time. We know that there will be many more opportunities to do the same things in developing regions or among those who have never had the chance to learn about the heavens, and then learn from a biblical world view.
We try to make the equipment and activity second nature, where we don’t have to struggle or think about it when there is a crowd. I can show you my sketches, like the center of M31 or the limb of the moon that I did quickly a couple of months ago, but our hearts beckon us to be among those with little of the same opportunity.
God leveled the playing field, so to speak, when He came to preach the the Good News of forgiveness of sins and the Kingdom of God. He made it a deliberate purpose to share with the poor, the unlikely converts, and obvious sinners, because they were least likely to be in a position to hear. Mary’s exclamation after meeting Elizabeth in Luke 1:48-53 reflects the same theme, as do dozens of other Bible references. Other parts of the Bible, including quotes from the Prophets, God Himself, and notable figures point to the heavens as declaring God’s qualities. And, anyone can see them without respect to education, wealth, or position.
Yes, I like to observe, but the privilege to do this among those with little opportunity is wholly different. Even the poor can see Andromeda with their eyes or a very small scope or binoculars. They can see the moon. They listen and participate as someone shows them the heavens and explains what they have not noticed — only because someone did not help them.
Consider this: when a person follows Jesus, it begins to change things, and that person wants to do just as He did: declare His good news, show His creation, and explain how He expresses His love to us. So, we target those of little reputation or importance. And, when we can, we tell them that He did not wind up some clock and let it go, or take millions of years to finally piece a man together. He did it just as He said in Genesis 1 and 2, and holds the world by the word of His power. He waits to see if we will hear Him and come to Him. The passion of observing from a biblical view is locked to the declaration that God intended us to see it and be drawn to Him.
Blessed is he that considers the poor… Psalm 41;1
The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor… Isaiah 61:1, see also Luke 4:18)
Go to COURSES and DOWNLOADABLE COURSES at the cwm4him.org for courses on observing the heavens and creation. Versions are free to download.
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