Back in early August we spent a week in the Florida Keys. The Keys are known for their fabulous sunsets, and we were fortunate to be in just the right viewing spot one evening as we waited on our dinner. I didn't have my good camera with me, just my phone, but it's hard to ruin a spectacular sunset even if you're me.
Planet Earth feels especially harsh just now. Chaos abounds. We humans have been witness to unspeakable acts of violence. We've seen evil on display in living color, an ocean away yet close to home as the faces of broken children and journalists flash across our screens. It doesn't feel an ocean away.
In our own country riots and looting and destruction of property in the name of peace?
I don't pretend to understand.
On a warm August evening I stand in front of a sky on fire and I feel small. Helpless to do anything about everything in this great big mixed up world. And I watch a big yellow ball sink slowly into the sea. I document her descent inch by inch and my heart feels a little lighter. I smile and remember when our girls were little and we'd tell them the sun was dropping right into the ocean... going to bed, and they'd say 'good night sun' with their soft sweet voices and innocent eyes.
I understand how easy it is for people to feel insignificant in a world gone mad. To think, 'Wow-God's sure got His hands full with this place.' My own problems seem ridiculous when held up beside a war ravaged Middle East, missing jet airliners, earthquakes, or even a country like ours that just can't seem to find the right way forward.
Which is why every now and then I think the whole world needs to watch a pink-golden sun set down on the water. The sureness of it, the staggering multi-colored beauty of it, is a visual reminder that God is in the details. He's a worker of miracles and a bringer of peace. He is big and He is God and He's got the whole world in His hands.
You and me and them. The world wars and the families in turmoil. The national discord and the day to day worries that loom large when our heads hit their pillows at night.
My daughter called a little while ago. Her wedding dress arrived in the store today and as I listened to the excitement in her voice my heart filled all the way up. Yes this world is harsh, but it is also filled with indescribable joys. Keep looking up.