Matter heaves beneath the Milky Way, slides a white-hot burn down black sky and skids along the horizon at water’s edge and, just like that, bits of dust and rock flame beautiful and win a grander name for themselves-shooting stars.
It happens fast, the slide and the skid. Silently, too.
I wonder at the silence, “How, Lord? This glory, how is it silent? How is there not sonic boom? How do the humming stars not open their mouths and shout something like, ‘Praise God, all creatures below! See how He makes fallen dust beautiful!’”
I know He’s watching the sky with me. I feel Him beside me, “They don’t because they don’t need to.”
“Because I am?” I remember when He once said that the rocks will shout praises to Him-Peace in heaven and glory in the highest-if His disciples kept quiet.
“M-hmm,” His reply is hum and silence fits awe.
Brilliant trails of debris are made beautiful in the burn. It’s the most awe-full silence without even a gasp.
I watch debris exit from the heavens and leave a trail of glory behind because God is utterly committed to His glory and, something else.
Isn’t He also committed to this grace which consumes in victory all that would otherwise burn out?
And maybe trails of glory in the heavens are as glimpses of the train of His robe, longer than the combined robes of every king ever to rule on earth.
Doesn’t the length of a king’s robe show how many battles he’s won?
And hasn’t the God of heaven and earth won the war waged by sin and death? Won every battle till even what falls from the battles against powers and principalities in the heavenly places just vaporizes in mid-fall flash?
He has. And that’s a glory my heart’s mapped for.
May my heart be charted by the Word by God, light years high and fathoms deep-while I bob, stern side, on the surface of Lake Texoma feeling as if tucked between the heights and the depths as Moses himself was tucked intot he cleft of a rock where he, too, saw the backside of God’s glory.
“It’s breathtaking, Your glory!” I breathe the words and know that it’s the back side.
Lake water gently slaps the hull of Living Water; and the living Word rises from the wet depths of my heart.
I think back to the beginning, when God thought light before He spoke the word and before darkness knew what would pierce it.
And I think of when love came down from heaven and was seared white hot through with nails to know what sears through me and be able to sympathize.
There is a mighty heave of heart, His and mine. Mine heaves broken trust, deferred hope, and scattered faith—at least, it tries to. Rocky debris is all massed in my heart. But His heaves whole—just all whole.
How do I stop this spin that makes my heart so heavy, this cyclical reminder of why trust, hope, and faith are so scattered in me?
I don’t. I can’t.
I lay back on the seat and light from stars that burned out before I was born leans over me.
My heart reaches for Heaven itself, just to hold on and never let go of serenity-no matter what burns.
And what does burn? Maybe just whatever doesn’t burn.
Glory. Glory in God’s heart doesn’t burn up or burn out.
Sometimes my heart is heavy with matters-with debris. “If I let go, just let the matters fall, would I see Your victory blaze?” I know I would. And I have.
The Milky Way spills white across the galaxy floor above me. Messy. Marvelous. Wild. Quiet.
Might I remember this-glory is like spilt milk.
God’s glory, it just spills out when He moves till the story of His victories sweeps through my heart and what spills out isn’t for me to cry over, but for God to make beautiful in a blaze of glory.
The sky is draped in a string of silver stars and wears them like a necklace of glory. I recall reading something about silver and glory. I google the key words on my iPhone and find it in Proverbs 25:1, “Take away the dross from silver, and it will go to the silversmith for jewelry.”
“Ah.” I amaze, because I just saw dross so fresh from the fire that flame followed it’s decent to horizon. It was a glimpse of true glory. “You don’t scrape the dross and then splat it onto the ground in disgust, do You?” It’s more amazement than question.
“I’ve taken your shame way,” He reminds me.
“But dross is so ugly.” I say it because I’ve seen my own sin; and I’ve been ashamed.
His eyes tell me He knows what that feels like, and I remember the scars He bears. “Let no one who waits on Me be ashamed” He says with conviction.
The starry veil above me flutters soft light through the thin atmosphere.
Wasn’t there another veil? A woven veil violently halved in the thick atmosphere when Christ took the shame of sin to the cross and died to take away sin and shame? There was.
“To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in You; let me not be ashamed;” (Psalm 25:1-2). His word is my prayer and sometimes prayer burns like a fire that tears cannot quench when body and soul are tried in the furnace till the dross rises to the top.
I spill, but that’s okay.
His glory is His, and His victory is mine.
He fingers a necklace that is not dross dull, but radiant as if His glory was somehow a part of the dross and then woven into the necklace. “Wear this as an ornament of grace.” He slips it over my head. The jewelry drapes grace around my neck.
“I am not ashamed.” I look into His holy eyes that reflect the fire that purifies-and touch dross turned to grace.
I no longer wear shame.
The Milky Way disappears in moonlight. There are no more fire skids across the sky, but glory is blazing a trail across my soul tonight.
Serenity hums somewhere at the backside of my soul.
written and illustrated by: Carolyn-Elizabeth Roehrig
(adapted from my book PISTEUO! Connecting with God's Heart)