“Can you cover that?”
Cole’s voice barely stretched across the small cabin. I stopped unpacking and looked over at our just-turned-seven-year old. It was nearly 10pm and we were finally settling into our cabin in northwestern Pennsylvania after a two-day drive from Tampa.
“Cover what?” As the words slipped out I saw what Cole was staring nervously at. High on the brick wall above the fireplace, looking directly down at our two little boys, was a mounted deer head.
Cole’s tired blue eyes were propped wide open as he gazed at the deer head. Understanding swept through me.
Just a few minutes prior, I looked with nearly the same nervous stare at the blind and curtain-free kitchen window. Inky darkness poured into the cabin through the large window. Even though there wasn’t anyone nearby who would look in, I had breathed a sigh of relief when my handy hubby found an extra green blanket and covered the window.
Trevor came to the rescue again. He found a small towel and covered the morbid wall decoration. We shared a giggle at the blanketed deer face. I knew Cole felt more comfortable with the deer head covered, just as I felt better having the large kitchen window covered.
That all taken care of, we murmured at the boys to go to sleep. While puttering around the cabin I found myself at the blanketed kitchen window again and again. I peeped behind the blanket and through the window at the towering pine just a few feet away.
I wondered what was out there, wondered what the cloak of night and sparkling stars looked like in the heart of this beautiful country.
But I was too afraid and always melded back into the safety of the cabin. As I lay in the darkness, God’s Word lit up my heart and mind.
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows His handiwork. ~ Psalm 19:1
The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours; The world and all its fullness, You have founded them. ~ Psalm 89:11.
The next evening, after a day full with fishing, hiking, and tadpole-feeding, we headed back from the large farmhouse where the rest of our family was staying. As we approached the red cabin door we heard loud crunching sounds and the occasional stamping of feet.
They were out in the pasture for the night, and I was drawn to them like a curious little boy to a muddy puddle.
Trevor took the boys into the cabin, but I stayed outside. I looked around and acknowledged the uncomfortable feeling of being blanketed in near-darkness in a strange place.
Stronger than the feeling of fear was the unshakable knowledge that my Creator was closer than the darkness. God’s word promises that He will not leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6 & 8, Joshua 1:5).
I refused to let fear keep me away from God’s beautiful creation just over the hill.
Stars and horses.
I ran the dozen yards up to the pasture fence, anticipation sending shivers through my limbs. As charcoal night descended, I took in the breathtaking beauty just outside our cabin window.
The night sky was so generously dotted with bright stars that I blinked in surprise. They winked against the ebony darkness like diamonds. A cool breeze blew down from the woods, rustling the trees and whispering through the grass.
Just a few yards past the fence were a dozen horses grazing on the waist-high grass. Moonlight shimmered off black, sorrel, bay, and dapple grey coats. I soaked in their sleek beauty while listening to the voracious crunching of their grass dinner. Sharp, random cries of crickets echoed throughout the field.
The constant spark of lightning bugs accented the scene like tiny fissures of joy.
I was caught in a moment so surreal I nearly lost my breath. God’s fingerprints lovingly pieced together what I saw that night. I’ve always loved horses, I adore star-gazing, and my favorite place is outside, in the middle of God’s creation.
Before my eyes I saw all of what I love. With my three guys nestled in the cabin behind me and the gorgeous stage of God’s creation set in front of me, my heart overflowed.
Stars and horses.
Thank you, Lord. Your creation takes my breath away, and You, so much more than that. So much more.
For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. ~ Habakkuk 2:14