Thursday night, August 2, I sit on a grassy ski slope at Gunstock Mountain. I lean my head back and look up. “Look” doesn’t fit. I “behold” the heavens. I feel so small. Above me is wonder, amazement and awe. Stars.
Down below me, just a few hundred yards away, one of my favorite musical artists is singing his heart out with his band behind him. The words to Jon Foreman’s song are hitting me like they never have before. I guess facing death from liver disease has impacted me in ways I have not yet discovered. Sitting on the side of the mountain, my emotions bubble over.
I am thankful that other than the stage lights chasing each other around, it is dark. No one can see my tears rolling. No one can hear me singing along at the top of my lungs thanks to the concert volume.
But when I look at the stars
when I look at the stars
when I look at the stars
I see someone else
When I look at the stars
I feel like myself
-Switchfoot, Jon Foreman
I do see someone else. It’s the someone I see when I have stood on mountain tops. It’s the someone I saw at the birth of each of my children. It’s the someone I saw in the gleam in my 80 year old friend Vern’s eyes each time we met before he passed this past Spring.
Think. Have you seen Him? Do you remember beholding beauty, feeling small yet warm and feeling whole? You’ve seen him too.
I haven’t felt whole in quite awhile. In fact, last year I made it to only one night of this same music festival, Soulfest, and did not have the strength to stay. I remember thinking, “This is my last festival.” While my liver was dying inside me I simply could not “feel like myself.” Every ounce of me knew something was terribly wrong within.
Thursday night, with tears flowing freely, I sang again. For the first time in more than a year, I felt like myself. I felt whole with my new liver growing inside me. Today, I have a hope and a future.
It’s difficult to explain that during my illness I always had a Hope but I didn’t know if I had a future. How can anyone have hope while thinking they might not have a future? I guess the answer is that my Hope is not wrapped up in stuff. It’s not tied up in circumstances, money, status and temporary things.
When I look at the stars? When I see their Creator? When I feel like myself I am totally confident that there is something more, something eternal, something beyond this brief life. Don’t get me wrong. I like life. I’m for it! But my foundational hope goes beyond it. My hope is eternal.
When was the last time you sat in silence and looked at the stars? What are you doing tonight?