Grammy Award-winning Christian music artist Lauren Daigle’s “Look Up Child” has me thinking about this idea of “looking up” and what it means through the eyes of a believer.
Where are You now (where are You?)
When all I feel is doubt?
Oh, where are You now
When I can’t figure it out?
Oh I, I-I-I, I hear You say
I hear You say
Look up child, ayy
Look up child, ayy…
If You’re Sad, Look Up
My Dad would say, “If you are sad, go out and look at the sky.”
As I listened to Daigle’s song and pondered my father’s advice, I know that looking up at the beyond has much to tell us about the Divine.
What is this sky? With its daytime and nighttime wonders? A mystery, a majestic mystery, an answered question, a hope, a hope that things will get better?
The heavens declare the glory of God; the firmament proclaims the works of his hands. -Psalm 19:2-3
For those who live near summits there is a never-ending call to look up.
I raise my eyes toward the mountains. From whence shall come my help? -Psalm 21:1
Being able to “look up, lift up” at sky is a gift that we often take for granted. There are many who don’t have that gift, at least not all day long.
After a surgery, I could not get to my window to pull up the blinds. My sister, in her ingenuity, put a long piece of ribbon on the blinds so I could pull them up from where I was sitting. Today, I still have a small piece of that red ribbon on the cord and it reminds me of that kind gesture and of her.
When I visit a nursing home, I am happy when I see someone pushing a resident outside to enjoy the air and the sky.
My friend Betsy recently surprised her husband, Torrey, for his 70th birthday by telling him to just start driving. Several hours later, they arrived at their destination of Cherry Springs State Park near Coundersport, Pennsylvania. This is reportedly the only international Dark Sky Park on the east coast of the United States and the second in the U.S. overall.
Since Torrey’s parents are from Norway, his trips back to that country have given him a great appreciation for star gazing and dark sky. There is “no light pollution,” he says.
Besty and Torrey spent several hours under the sky at Cherry Springs in awe of the splendor of the meteor showers and the grandeur of the universe. Depending on the amount of cloud cover, visitors to the park can witness constellations, asteroids, The Milky Way, Venus, Aurora Borealis, Lunar viewing and much more.
The moon and stars to rule the night, for his mercy endures forever… -Psalm 136
Finding the Light
Great art often depicts the Holy Ones and Saints gazing upwards. Dominican Sister Plautilla Nelli was a Renaissance painter and the earliest known woman artist of Florence. Her painting titled “Saint Catherine in Prayer” from the 1500’s was so badly damaged that it took two years for restoration.
In this sacred artwork, Saint Catherine is gazing upwards at black clouds. The conservator knew the Saint had to be looking at Divine Light. After the arduous work of cleaning and restoration, among the white clouds, a strip of yellow light was uncovered.
To You, O God, I Lift Up My Soul
As I was recently reflecting about this idea of “lifting up,” it seemed trivial or a waste to spend any time on this thought of “looking up,” given our international and national concerns. But then I went outside, stood on my simple stoop, and spent some time looking up towards the heavens. A peace settled in and the cares of the day were easier to handle.
Sky and star gazing might not be a strategy for creating world peace, but you never know. All of us live under that same expansive dome, in the same universe, under the protection of the One.
A “lifting up” movement—with a lot less dropping down for incessant device divulgence—just might be what we all need right now.
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Lift up your eyes on high and see who created these… -Isaiah 40:26
Colette M. Liddy is a higher education public relations professional with a background in producing news and public affairs programs for television, radio, and cable. She holds a master’s in pastoral ministry from Caldwell University, a certificate in “Media and the New Evangelisation” from the School of the Annunciation, Buckfast Abbey, England, and she is fellow of Bellezza & Verità, the Truth and Beauty Project, a digital media program in Rome, Italy.