Small

Small. adjective. Little, puny, a size that is less than normal.

image: davejdoe via flickr

image: davejdoe via flickr

The fire had burned low. As my brothers and dad fled inside, away from the mosquitos, I walked to the end of the dock. I lay down, flat on my back, knees pointing towards the infinity of stars. It was dizzying.

It’s cliché, I know, to feel incomparably small in the face of legions of stars, burning softly above your head. But for a second, my breath stuck in my throat. I was just one girl on one Minnesota lake one Saturday evening in June. There were so many people I would never meet, corners of the universe I would never see, things I would never understand. Even things from my own little life, I might never make sense of. Once again, the future is uncertain. I should be used to it by now, the free-falling of life without a plan. But still it scares me when my little heart is adrift in a sea of possibility and unknown.

As I lay looking up at the stars and into my emotional heart, I could have reacted as I used to when I was young and thought about infinity too late at night, tramping down the stairs in tears because endless time and space were terrifying. I shiver when I have to face what I cannot understand.

But this time, despite the anxiety and overwhelming sky, I felt comfort, an inexplicable grace. The stars wrapped around me and my smallness. I sensed their maker smoothing love over me, calming my restless heart.

You see those stars? I made and know every one. I made and know every fish in this lake, and I anticipate when they’ll flip and make you twitch, out here in the dark. And I made and know you, too. I’m not too busy for you. I see your feat, how you’re desperately afraid of being lonely. I see how tight you cling to what you love and how much it hurts to trust. I see the ragged spots on your soul. And because I made you and love you, I see what it will take to heal you and save you and love you. Though you are small in the hands of a big God, you are never forgotten.

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