A Moment to Reflect

15 August 2020

A Moment to Reflect -82


“While my friend always spoke about the sun, I kept speaking about the clouds, until one day I realized that it was the sun that allowed me to see the clouds.” ― Henri Nouwen

Sometimes I like to turn my camera away from people, landscapes, mountains, seas, flowers and animals… and simply point it upwards to the sky.

Away back in the Spring of 2007 I took a series of photographs of the skies above Carluke. I may share a number of them over the next few days. This one shows a gentle sky. But sometimes the sky bubbles with vigorous energy and vibrant colour.

No two photographs of the sky are ever identical—except perhaps those dreary ‘leaden-sky’ days of thick cloud that you get all too often in Scotland when the sun seems to have gone on furlough.

I used to love the ‘Peanuts’ cartoon strips by Charles M. Schultz. They are full of wisdom, insight, humour… and sometimes a healthy dose of theology.

One of my all-time favourites is where Charlie Brown, Lucy and Linus lie down at look up at the clouds.

Try it yourself some time. Look up at the sky, stop and stare and let your imagination go like a kite flying in the wind. What do you think you can see?

I sometimes think life itself is a bit like a restless, ever-changing skyscape. There are days, even seasons, of grey nothingness just as there are spells of deep blue serenity and periods that cover every possible permutation in-between. Perhaps each should be embraced for what it is and not simply compared with what it is not. 

Whether we see it or not, the one constant behind every sky is the sun, as Henri Nouwen realised. We don’t need to worship the sun to see it as a powerful metaphor for the ever-present God who illuminates even the greyest of days with his presence.