When I see Your heavens...the moon and the stars You fixed them. What is man/woman that You should pay attention? Psalm 8
Autumn is coming where I live. Which means not only cooler, crisp air, but also less light. Or to be more specific, less sunlight. I woke up the other morning to go for a jog and realized even though it was warm outside, it was still dark. I looked up and saw the stars glimmering and glistening early in the morning. It was beautiful.
The stars have fascinated humanity for years. They keep watch in the midst of the night. The tiny amount of light they shower down upon us gives us hope that after the darkness, dawn will come. And the sheer multitude of stars, even though they look so small, still have the power to make us feel insignificant.
I wonder if the Psalmist wrote Psalm 8 at night or early in the morning before dawn? I wonder if she saw the stars, tried to count them, realized it was futile, and then asked that wonderful question, "Why in the world would God care about me? About us?" Look around at the leaves starting to change color or the royal, ruby red of Mums, or feel the cool wind refresh you after the warmth of the summer. This is a beautiful world, creation sings out the glory of God. Yet, we miss it. Creation becomes a blur in our frenzied pace life. If we miss God's handiwork, what makes us think that God is so concerned and caught up in us? It is a little self-centered. And the Psalmist asks a question we might all ponder and pray over from time to time.
God does care about us. God does care deeply for the creation, the world, God crafted and bares God's fingerprints. It isn't either/or, rather the true is both/and. The Psalmist goes on to say, not only did God carefully craft humans, but also sheep, oxen, beasts of the field, birds, and fish. Psalm 8 is a reminder of Genesis 1 and 2.
One of the reasons why the Psalms are good to read is they do slow us down. You can speed read, but chances are good, you will miss something because you are reading faithful poetry. And so, as you continue to read the Psalms, letting the words wash over you, I encourage you to keep track of what images the Psalmist writes about. You may even want to keep a list, so you can go back some time. And if you forget, let the Psalms cue you in. By now you may have run across the word, "Selah" in the Psalms. That word simply means, "Stop!", pause, do not pass Go and collect $200, rather let those words you just read sink in.
May our "Selah", our pausing in the psalms, not only awaken us to the wisdom of these ancient prayers, but also the wisdom of God's still speaking and still creating presence in our midst...for indeed there is more than a trace of a grace in all of this.