September 29, 2012

The Moon and the Stars Are the Same Ones You See

Sydney Opera House Under Full Moon, September 2012

In 1960, when I was a 9-year-old Brownie Scout, I went “all the way” up to Camp Robinwood in Willis, Texas, now just a part of the I-45 Houston sprawl.  Fortunately, I don’t have memories of sleeping outside in the miserable Gulf Coast heat, sharing the space with the mosquitos, chiggers, poisonous snakes and everything else that goes with the Great Outdoors in that area.  (Guess who still isn’t a Nature Girl?)

My best memory is of our nightly stargazing sessions—who knew all that was up there in the sky?

Full Moon Telluride Colorado August 2012

Rhett, a counselor, told us to remember that at night, everyone in the world could see the same moon, and we became linked to each other whenever we gazed upon it.
And then she gave me one of my first tastes of the numinous:  all who had ever lived before us, including our ancestors, had been out on nights just like these, pondering the same moon.  What a sense of interconnectedness this little 9-year-old felt for the first time.

This powerful imagery resonates with me every time I travel.  My ‘spiritual practice’ (now that I’m on the journey, I have a name for it) involves finding the moon from a motel room, car window, or maybe even a more romantic sport, and then thinking about those around me doing the same thing, as well as all those back home—even if halfway around the world—and knowing this moon belongs equally to them.
God has His creation on display for all His creatures, and nothing about who we are or our worthiness can separate us from its magnificent, predictable glow.

One cannot pick up the paper or turn on the news without realizing how terribly polarized

our country and the world is right now.  Focus centers on what divides us; differences seem to warrant celebrations.  To me, the moon offers a graphic symbol of a better way:  what do we share in common–no matter what faith explanation one has for it.

More down-to-earth examples include unexpectedly coming upon a wedding party posing for pictures, watching a family strolling a new baby, kids walking home from school.   Anywhere in the world, these illustrate priorities for most people; they are the simple blessings which remind them of their creator’s love and provision—the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth in anyone’s faithspeak.

If only the world’s leaders could be so inspired.  I will keep the image of a 9-year-old school girl gazing at the moon in Tehran, a single mom being cared for by her church family in Denver and displaced children receiving humanitarian aid from Syria in mind as I meditate with the quotes and pictures I’ve included.

I took these two full-moons 6 months apart this year in Sydney, Australia and Telluride, Colorado.  I hope they, and the quotes, will speak to you as contemplating upon them has spoken to me.

May the moonlight shine upon your path,

Karen Robertson

About The Author:

My simple life… is not simple at all. Yet it is so simple when I let God lead me. I have been married to Greg for 27 years and we have three wonderful children. My simple life is not simple at all. Yet it is so simple when I let God take control. I followed God’s call to begin seminary at Perkins School of Theology in January 2006. I graduated in May 2011. My life is not simple at all. Yet it is so simple when I listen for God’s call. I began the Degree in the Art of Spiritual Direction at San Francisco Theological Seminary in January 2009. I graduated in May 2011. My life is not simple at all. Yet it is so simple when I listen for God's call. I was ordained in the Presbyterian Church USA and spent three amazing years in Pastoral Ministry at Highland Springs Senior Living in Dallas, TX. My life is not simple at all. Yet it is so simple when I listen for God's call. My passion is the Christian Spiritual Life. As a spiritual director and retreat leader, I am so blessed to hear how God is at work in the world. How is God at work in your life?

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