By Felicia Roper
A year after I graduated from college and got my first IBM assignment in upstate New York, I went on a weekend trip with some friends up to Fourth Lake, one of the lakes in the Adirondack Mountains. At night, out there in the hinterlands, the sky was so dark you could see every star and the entire Milky Way arching across the heavens. I was awestruck.
Right then I fell in love with the sky, came back to town, and enrolled in an astronomy class at the local community college. Ever since then, I’ve been interested in learning more about the universe and how it works. The miracles “out there”: the vast distances, the complexity of what atoms are made of, the forces that make planets and comets and stars and galaxies move, hang together, and evolve and die continue to amaze me to this day. At night I try to understand how big and beautiful the universe we inhabit is.
After years of attending church, I still get questions – and ask them of myself – about who God is, and how we see and relate to God. I’ve gone from the big bearded man in the sky to not being sure, to wondering. But in the past decade, I’ve found, not an answer, but a way to begin. Now, when I need to talk to God I go outside at night and look up. I see God in the incredible mystery of the universe – bigger, wiser, cleverer and more loving than we can imagine.
And for me, Advent is there all year long. I look up and see Hope in believing that God is there somewhere , Joy in the beauty I see, Peace in the silence, and most of all, Love in the creation that somehow God made for us.