“We live under wide open skies and know where we stand.”
—1 Thessalonians 5:4, The Message
These days I have been driving more often through farmland, and I am entranced with the way the clouds make patterns on the pastureland below. You could be standing in one spot, thinking it is a dark and gray day, when not 10 yards away is a place outside the shadow of the cloud in full sun. And I understand something now that I have not understood before: without that kind of wide-open space, it’s impossible to know where you are standing.
As someone who grew up in the city, I am not used to seeing so far around me, miles of open space rolling into the horizon. Time and experience come in small packages. If the sky is gray when you look up, dark is all there is; dark is everything. You don’t have the perspective to see that maybe a short hop away it is already getting lighter.
There is healing in the wideness of creation. There is a grace in seeing the big picture, in knowing how the story ends a short skip across the rolling farmland, in seeing a moment in the shadow of the clouds is only one small drop of dark in a wind-swept land of light, in a world of grace, in a universe of blessedness.