The humble Polaris

Published 8:00 am Friday, August 4, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

You know how I’ve been a sunset person lately? Well, last night, I was reminded that I’m a star person, too.

I remember being 12 years old and suffering through the cold weather just to see the stars in the wintertime.

I used to wrap myself in a tight blanket, wander onto the back porch, and stare at our panoramic view of the sky above the Blue Ridge mountains. I had the night sky memorized. I knew exactly when Orion made his appearance for the season and when the Big Dipper went away. 

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The North Star was always there, though, and throughout every season, I watched the sky rotate around it, revolving around a dim star in a dim constellation known as the Little Dipper.

After a long day at work, suffering through a 12-hour headache, and not getting home until 8:30 p.m., I made myself a cup of tea that tastes like October and watched the sun go down on the mountains on Monday.

Relaxing in the porch swing, letting the Ibuprofen work its magic on my soon-to-be migraine, I watched Venus claim both dusk and the night sky. 

Dear Diary: The North Star reminds me of John 11:35. The North Star is like Jesus.

Yes, the star is consistent. Yes, it is always there to guide you. Yes to all of the obvious ways we are to look up at that one star in particular and know which direction is north.

But that star is not the brightest star in the sky. As I said earlier, it is dim. It is hard to notice, and on polluted nights like we saw a couple of weeks ago due to the Canadian wildfires, it can be barely visible at times. 

Jesus was not handsome. He wasn’t easy to spot in a crowd. In fact, moments before he was arrested, guards had to ask one of Jesus’s disciples to kiss the man that claimed to be the Son of God, likely because they couldn’t pick him out of his following.

My favorite Bible verse is the most simple and meek in all the 66 books: “Jesus wept.”

That headache, that chaos, that annoyance that I had to sit through a two-hour work meeting––that was all pain and emotion that Jesus felt as a human. He cried. He felt like God had forsaken him. He experienced anger.

As humans, we are not to be like God, who is the Jupiter of the night sky, or Venus that is unmistakably the brightest, boldest star up there. 

We are called to be like the humble Polaris––the North Star, which will always act as our guide..