Embers from the Fire
A weekly blog by Deacon Dan Wagnitz for the Quad-Parish Community
As Far as East to West – 11/6/2020
We tend to think small. That makes it easier to keep everything in its place so we can
make sense of things. The sky is up; the earth is down. Summer is hot; winter is cold. Of
course, we experience little realities all the time that challenge our mental organization of our big reality. I can recall a two-and-a-half-hour ascent of North Schell Peak in Nevada to get to the aspen grove I wanted to bow hunt. The earth didn’t seem “down” that morning. And I recall mid-July days of camping in my youth where we pulled on sweatshirts and stayed near the campfire for warmth.
One of these little experiences this week challenged the clear and certain reality that
the sun rises only in the east and sets only in the west. The day started off sunny but clouded up in the afternoon. But just at sunset when the sun teetered on the western horizon, the clouds split open enough to allow the sun to light up the sky – first in bright orange (fitting for the pumpkin time of year), then it turned magenta and finally soft pink before the sun did sink beyond the horizon. But the most amazing thing was because of the angle of the sun, it actually lit up the underside of the clouds all the way across the sky so that the colors were visible looking east as well as west. Last year Michelle and I were in Door County celebrating our anniversary when we encountered a similar and even more spectacular sunset. Not only did the sunset span the entire sky, but it lit up the water as well.
God thinks big. We think of Jesus, Mary and Joseph as the Holy Family, and rightly so.
But Jesus said that we are all part of the family, when we seek and do the will of the Father. The Holy Family, from God’s perspective, is intended to be everyone. And so, he sends us little signs like a sunset that lights up the whole sky, that invite us to think bigger, to dream dreams, to prophesy. And it is so like God to use a sunset to send such a message. A sunset is silent. It can be overlooked. It can be ignored. But if you take the time to stop, to look, to wonder – it is an invitation to powerful prayer.
“As the heavens tower over all the earth, so God’s love towers over the faithful. As far as the east is from the west, so far have our sins been removed from us.” (Psalm 103:11-12)