Sunday, December 31, 2017

We Three Kings

In the Gospel According to Matthew we read, "Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him."

Everything we know about these "wise men" is related in the second chapter of this book, they were from the east, they inquired of Herod, "Where is this king born?"  They worshiped the Christ child and presented gifts.  In defiance of Herod's directive, they returned to their own land without returning to Herod.  That's it.  That is what we know.

Yet the imagination of mankind is not satisfied, so a narrative is created over time; names are assigned to the wise men, the number of them being established at three, which, again, we are not told in Matthew's account.  The place of their origin is chosen through speculation-- what else is there to go on? And so three hundred or so years after the event, Helena of Constantinople, mother of the emperor Constantine set out on a quest for the remains of these magi, as they are often called.

Helena reportedly located the very bones she sought, supposedly in Persia.  She had them shipped home to Constantinople.  Through a series of events which you may easily find and read about on the internet, these relics were transferred first to Milan then to Köln  where they abide to this day in the world's largest reliquary just behind the altar in the cathedral.  These three caskets are bound together in perpetuity by ornate gilding and is an important tourist attraction.

Helena has been accorded sainthood.*

Whatever her motives and the likelihood of success in Helena's venture, we are better served by focusing on the motives and actions of the wise men, whatever their number.  They traveled far, they presented their best, and they worshiped the Christ.  Next Saturday is Epiphany, the day we traditionally observe in honor of the visit of the magi to Bethlehem.

No matter the length of our journey or the vicissitudes of life, we, too, must present our best and fall before the Christ in worship and adoration.

The Magi?  Wherever the dust of their bones, may their souls rest in eternal peace.

*This is the same Helena who unearthed the true cross and carted some splinters home with her.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Lifted Paragraph Project -Seven

This paragraph was posted a triad of years ago.  It is reposted here not because of elegance of expression or excellence of writing, but because it expresses a notion about which I am passionate.

"It is my belief that it is the responsibility of the parents to teach the child as it grows and develops that he is not Caesar, and that the world does not exist for the purpose of gratifying his every whim." 

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

River of Life -Chapter 2

Lars and Britta stood on the bank of Elv Knockknock holding hands, sadly looking at the desolation of thirsty land.  Lars called for Mette and Marte and soon heard the "Coming!" in the bright cheery voice of a child.

"What are we to do?" asked Lars.

"The Lord has provided thus far.  Surely He will send rain soon."  Britta shivered as the sharp breeze from the north cut through her jacket.  And she glanced up and looked toward the mountains.  But the mountains were not there!  Completely socked in by cloud cover, even the foothills disappeared from view.  Her heart leaped as she exclaimed, "It will snow in the hills this time.  I know it will.  Thank you Heavenly Father!"

"I hope you are right," Lars said doubtfully.  His faith had been tried sorely during the past too many seasons.  The girls joined them and the four walked back to their home as the sun's last rays faded from the sky.

Morning light, Britta sprang from bed and excitedly dressed, pulled on her winter jacket and rushed outside to look to the north.  And what a sight!  The snow-caps on the peaks shone brightly in the morning sun.

The people of the village could talk of nothing else, excitement building, hopes being strengthened by the hour.  As evening fell the mountains and hills again were shrouded in black clouds.  The next morning brought a sight even more wondrous.  Not only the mountain peaks, but the mountains in their entirety and the hogbacks and foot hills were snow covered.  Even the ground beneath their feet was covered with three or four tommes of the lovely white life-giving snow!

Monday, December 25, 2017

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Who is this Man

born in Bethlehem? 

But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. --Micah 5:5 KJV


 He is eternal.
 He is ruler in Israel, and moreover we are told
 his rule extends to the ends of the earth.
Zechariah 9:10  
He is peace between God and man.   
Thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; 
lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.
Zechariah 9:9

We celebrate this season to welcome the Redeemer into this world.
We welcome you, Lord Jesus, into our hearts and lives.
We welcome the Day your second advent will establish your rule in all the earth!

Friday, December 22, 2017

Classroom Contretemps #T

or, How Ned Got a "D" in Advanced Placement Maths,
was denied admission to a top-tier college and spent the rest of his life happily pursuing his dreams.

The mid-term exam, Miss Wilson asserted, would count fully one-third on the final grade.  Be prepared!  Of course, Ned was prepared. He was, as he was fond of saying, born ready.

The big morning came and the students discovered that the teacher had written the test on the whiteboard in blue marker.  There were five problems and a forty-minute time allotment.  Ned went to work, scanned each problem and decided to begin with number three.  He also cheerfully worked numbers one, four, and five, leaving number two for last because he thought he saw a trick in it.

When Ned lifted his head to copy problem number two, he discovered that Miss Wilson had erased all her work from the board.  "Ma'am," he said, "I haven't done one of those problems yet, and now it is gone."

"One would think," the teacher said, "that you would have written it down before this; you had plenty of time to do so,"

"Yeah, well.  I left the second one to last, and I still have plenty of time."

"Your failure to be organized is not my crisis."

"Oh, well. Doesn't matter whether I get an "A" or a "C."  It's all the same anyway."

The instructor strode down the aisle, stopped at Ned's desk, and with her marker scrawled a huge "F" on his test paper.  "That's not fair," Ned whined.

"Perhaps it will teach you to get your act together, show a little respect."

"Okay, then, if you can live with yourself, I can live with it," remarked the lad.

"Remove yourself from this room immediately!  Go to Mr. Devon's office; I will meet you there as soon as the bell rings!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

River of Life --Chapter 1 #T

In a faraway land there is situated at the confluence of two rivers a village, long a habitation of humankind.  On the south extremity of the town the Elv Knickknack debouches into Elv Knockknock.  Generations past a canal was constructed north of the village.  It flows to the east and the southeast to join nature's concourse again as it empties into the Knickknack.  This waterway has provided abundantly for the community and the people developed a thriving agricultural economy.

As the farmers increased production new facilities for processing and shipping goods were developed within the community.  Hundreds of people established happy homes and plied their trades amidst amiable others.  But now the farmland lies sere and parched.  Six years without rain or snow in the mountains to the north has created a drought the likes of which had never been known in all the region roundabout.

Cloud formations would develop over the peaks and the foothills and the people would rejoice, and the winds would blow the clouds on their way before they could release their moisture.  The people would return to their prayers and frayed hopes that relief would soon come.

The last streamlet in the bed of the Knockknock ceased flowing and there remained only pools of water here in a deep depression or there in a large hole.  Mette and Marte, tow-headed little girls nine years of age played often along the bottom of the river, noting the bits of life remaining in the pools.  Their favorite little pool contained, so far as they were able to see, but two small fish, each perhaps five or six tomme in length.  The girls were fascinated with the little ichthioids, watching them as they captured insects, snapping them up in the water or leaping for them in the air.  They even named the creatures "Knut" and "Addy."

The hot, dry air was every bit as thirsty as the land, and so it sucked up every drop of moisture it could find lying around.  The pool which was the habitat of Addy and Knut dwindled, grew smaller day by day.  Too soon the fish had little more than a bucketful of water in which to live and the girls were alarmed.  But they knew that there was a large pool where the Knickknack fell from the plateau into the Knockknock.  Clever children fetched a pail and Mette's butterfly net.  It was a mere few minutes work to scoop up half-pailful of water and capture the fish.  They made the trek, perhaps some six or eight steinkast downriver and released Knut and Addy into the pool.

The disturbance of the water attracted the attention of the inhabitants of these environs, one of which was a large bullfrog.  It leaped with a splash into the water.  A big fish, a whiskered fish with a wide mouth, cruised quietly over to check it out.  Food!  Knut, still dazed from the trauma of the journey, was too slow to avoid the gaping maw of the hungry catfish.  Addy was left without a companion.  She quickly hid in the cleft of the rock at the bottom of the pool.  Marte and Mette cried.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Holiday Hijinks

Santa has taken over the Little Gem

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Joy Advent Sunday Three

As we study the Advent stories in the first two chapters of Luke and in the second chapter of Matthew we note that joy permeates the account.  Mary visited her cousin Elisabeth to tell her of her pregnancy by the Holy Spirit.  Elisabeth related that as soon as she heard Mary’s voice, the babe within her womb leaped for joy!
Upon the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, the angels announced to the shepherds that they were bringing good tidings of great joy!  The wise men from the east followed the star.  When it stood over the place where Jesus was, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy!
How we desire to be filled with joy and peace!  Yet how often it seems we are unable to receive the blessing.  I was prepping the motor home for our excursion into a quiet place.  One of the many tasks is the filling of the water tank.
I placed the hose in the filler pipe and had it running at a good volume. It takes several minutes to complete the fill. I stepped around the rig to tend to another item.  Presently I heard water splashing on the ground.  I went to the hose and found the tank was not taking the water, but allowing it to spill to the earth.  I removed the hose and the tank burped.  I replaced the hose, and in a matter of a few seconds it overflowed again.  Removed hose, tank burped.  I knew the vent tube was plugged but could not imagine why.  I tried again, same result.  After the fifth burp, when I reinserted the hose, a brilliant metallic-blue mud dauber crawled out of the vent tube!  Aha!  She had plugged the pipe.

I set the nozzle to fine-stream, top power and shot the water down the vent tube.  The pipe cleared and the filling process proceeded in a normal fashion.

As I completed this task, I was thinking that in spite of our desire for the joy and peace that the filling of the Holy Spirit brings it is too often the case that our inner being, our tank, in a manner of speaking, is filled with air, trivial and meaningless matters, that must be vented to allow room for the infilling of the Spirit.  Yet we have somehow allowed the wasps of worldly cares to plug the vent.  We hold onto what must be expelled, and thus fail to receive the joy and peace that should be ours.
How to correct the problem?  Our faith in Jesus is the jet-stream that will clear the vent-tube of the soul so that we can receive the joy of the Lord!

Friday, December 15, 2017

Cousin, Cousin

My cousin, Eunice, passed away this fall.  She was the oldest living descendant of Samuel Harvey Morrell, my grandfather.  So now I am the patriarch of the clan, if primogeniture has any bearing.

Once about every third whip stitch a meme pops up on fb reminding us that our cousins were our first friends.  And that may well be true for many people, but not all human experiences are shared by everyone.  There are, for example, those whose parents had no siblings and thus they have no cousins. Or, in my case, I have forty-eight first cousins, some of whom I never met and never will, for some of them are gone now.*

The circumstances of various lives determine friendship and acquaintanceship.  In my case, the parents moved from the community of my nativity when I was but six months old.  Moved a good long way away, too.  Most of my father's siblings either stayed in that locale or moved themselves a good way away to somewhere we weren't.

My mother's people all packed up and moved to California when I was about five years old, and there went that opportunity to develop a "best friend" relationship with any of my maternal cousins.  Over the years I met all those cousins and even developed friendships with some of them.  To this day there are three of them who are facebook friends and another three or four who are "Christmas card" cousins.  But all of them reside on one coast or the other.

During my early years there were three of my dad's siblings with whom we exchanged visits and I came to know their children.  Uncle Wayne and his family even lived in the same town we did during my teen years.  Uncle Ben's son is a fb friend and his sister and I correspond on occasion.

Otherwise the familial relationships were characterized by a cousin whom I met via the expediency of stopping in his town while on a trip several years ago.  When I was met at the door by his wife it was clear that she had little interest in who I was or what I wanted, but she did call her husband to the door.  We made arrangements to meet in a restaurant for supper after BBBH and I checked into a motel.  We met, neither of our wives joined us.

During the course of the visit he remarked, "We Lacys aren't very sociable."

Pretty well summed it up, at least so far as family interactions are concerned.

*Thirty five on Dad's side, 13 on Mama's side.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Reason for the Season

The Cat and the Christ Child

The cat crept into the cave. Stripy, she was, in the daylight.  But now, well past sunset and the settling of darkness, she was as black as any other cat.  The tabby's left ear twitched, cocked over her left shoulder as she heard the rustling in the straw strewn over the floor.  A great ox lying nearby snorted softly as he dropped his head to the ground.  His horn made a clack! as it made contact with the rock.  He exhaled.  His nares vibrated briefly then all was still.

The cat remained motionless.  Long moments dragged slowly by.  In the distance an owl called to its mate.  Then the rustling began again as the mice resumed feeding on the loose grain in the straw.  The cat's right fore paw inched forward, settled softly, then the left paw raised, advanced, soundlessly touched the rock, then pounce!  Her prize in her claw, then between her jaws, she nestled close to the belly of the ox and dropped the mouse.  Stunned and addled but still with a will to live the creature staggered and attempted to run.  But the cat casually reached out, dragged it back.  Again she released it, this time allowing the creature to "get away."  But the cat sprang, recaptured the mouse and lay down again.  She played her cruel game with the small captive for several minutes, but finally tired of it and overcome with hunger she crunched its skull between  her teeth, then dined on her catch.

So Stripy, sated, slept.

A ruckus arose within the stable.  A pair of human creatures shuffled into the space, one carrying a blazing fagot in one hand as with the other he supported the woman who staggered in and collapsed on the floor.  A donkey followed them.  Then entered a large nondescript dog close on the heels of the ass.  He went to the female human creature and started licking her cheek while the man wedged the torch into a notch in the wall that served as a sconce. The presence of the canine got the attention of the sleeping cat, which started and sprang to her feet.  She scaled the flank of the ox where she settled, thus attaining a full view of the goings-on.  The ox slept on.

Soon there was frantic activity, the man bustling around the woman, the woman writhing and screaming in obvious pain. All the creatures in the stable stirred restlessly, the sheep bleated, and even the ox raised its head and voiced his concern.  Following a protracted episode of heavy breathing and intermittent screams, everything fell silent for a few moments.  Then suddenly the mewling of a new man-child pierced the quiet.

The man patiently worked at cleanup chores, handed the infant to its mother.  Everyone except the man, the woman, and the cat finally went back to sleep.  Then the woman cradled the tiny human creature in the straw the man had laid in a manger. The tabby, her tail erect and switching from side to side drawing esses and zees in the air, left her perch on the ox and sauntered casually toward the small human.  As the cat approached the child, the dog lifted its head, raised itself up on its two forelegs.  The cat made not a sound but gave the canine the evil-eye.  The dog lay back down.  The cat circled the child and we might imagine that she was thinking, "Big deal.  Just another human." Then she went back and snuggled into the warmth of her bovine friend again.

 Which all took place before the gaggle of rough and ragged men began to fill up the space, babbling about a Heavenly Presence that came to them in the fields praising God and telling them that this child  in the stable was The Christ!

The cat was wrong.

Merry Christmas!
and let there be peace, at least between you and me. 

©David W. Lacy 2015

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Joy to the World!

In the spirit of the season of "peace and goodwill," I won't be offended if you wish me "Happy Holidays!" Please don't be offended when I wish you a "Merry Christmas!" Thank you.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Still Standing

Today the Old Dame
stumbled, but did not fall

The Old Dame three years ago.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Peace Advent Sunday Two

There can be no peace among men until there is peace within the individual.  That peace cannot exist apart from Jesus Christ.

Pascal suggested that there is a God-shaped hole in the heart of everyone and the only thing that can fill it is God.*  This condition developed upon the very first instance of man's disobedience to God's instructions.  "They saw that they were naked." (Genesis 3:7) The righteousness with which man in his original state was clothed fell away immediately upon the commission of the sin of disobedience to the Creator.

Yet God in his infinite love so yearned for reestablishment of fellowship with the Creature that he gave His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, as a sacrificial atonement for man's sin. Peace returned to the world through this gift, yet the hole in our hearts can only be filled by accepting the gift.

Seeking frenetically for something to fill the void within is futile, no matter the excitement of the entertainment or the glitter of worldly possessions.

Peace, Jesus said, I leave with you.

Avail yourself of the Peace!

 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.  --John 14:7

 *“What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace? This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God himself.”
- Blaise Pascal, Pensées VII(425)

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Philosophers I Admire, Part 1

.My three ayem ponderings led me to thinking about Doug Marlette and Rev. Will B. Dunn.  This morning I looked back in the archives to see what I had written about these characters.  Is it an irony that this was originally published to String Too Short to Tie on this date, nine years ago?

The philosophy I study on a regular basis depends greatly on, but is not restricted to, the comics. By comics I mean the daily strips, the funnies, that appear in newspapers and that should be read on a regular basis.

The first philosopher I wish to showcase is deceased and his political cartoons and his comic strip are missed. This is Doug Marlette whose comic strip "Kudzu" served as a guiding light for me. The characters in this funny were painted true to life in character and hilarious in their demeanor. While Ida Mae; Nermal; Veranda; and Kudzu, after whom the strip was named, as well as infrequently appearing minor characters all lent panache and vibrancy to the world in which they lived, the real hero of the story was Reverend Will B. Dunn.

Dunn, whether sitting on a hillside studying the stars, or in the pulpit bumbling his way through a sermon or ceremony, always had on a hat and cowboy boots with his trousers tucked into them. His advice column was classic. "Dear Preacher, your biggest problem is you can never admit you're wrong. Disappointed." "Dear Disappointed, I may not always be right, but I am never wrong." Sitting on a hillside with Nermal, Nermal says, "Preacher, do you believe there are alien beings out there?" Dunn replies, "Son, I'm not worried about alien beings out there. I'm worried about the alien beings in here." (Points to his heart.)

The irreverence of his political cartoons often earned him the outpouring of rancor from those whose point of view he skewered. This quote is his response to such attacks.

Those who have attacked my work, whether on the right, the left, Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal, Protestant, Catholic, Jewish or Muslim, all seem to experience comic or satirical irreverence as hostility and hate. When all it is, really, is irreverence. Ink on paper is only a thought, an idea. Such people fear ideas. Those who mistake themselves for the God they claim to worship tend to mistake irreverence for blasphemy. --Doug Marlette 1949 - 2007

Douglas Marlette gave of himself not only through his art, but through public service. On his way to a rehearsal of a high school drama club who were preparing to present an onstage "Kudzu," Doug's pickup crashed and he was killed. RIP

Other Marlette posts here and here.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

History Lesson

Remember Pearl Harbor
Never forget.

 USS West Virginia, December 7, 1941
Image: Wikipedia.  Article here.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Lifted Paragraph Project -Six

from Interactive Post

Clearly, Brooke had been dismissed.  She took the elevator to the sixth floor, walked to her cubicle, thoughts roiling in her mind.  She took the brown paper bag from the bottom desk drawer.  She opened the sack, found the sandwich within.  Brooke had peanut butter and jealous for lunch.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Conversations with Random People -21 #T

We spent a good portion of Monday afternoon on the third floor of a courthouse in a neighboring county.  We were there is support of an acquaintance who was to appear before the court.  The floor was paved in a tessellated octogon/triangle pattern, the overhead skylight a geometric wonder.

As our crew gathered in the hallway, so did others, people with whom we were not acquainted.  The saddest part of the day was watching a parade of young people, some probably not yet out of their teens, passing by in shackles, escorted by a sheriff's deputy and headed to a courtroom.

A gentleman with our group, sixty-ish, unassuming, and garbed in gray shirt and gray dockers introduced himself to me and stated that he was a jail chaplain.  Conversations went on in clusters in the hallway, various people came and went.  I, tired of standing, sat on a nearby chair and simply observed.  People-watching is a fine pastime.  After awhile I noted the chaplain standing to one side contemplating whatever pictures were moving in his head, so l went over to him and

Just to satisfy my curiosity, tell me, what circumstances led to your chaplaincy?
 If I told you, you wouldn't believe it, so I'll tell you anyhow.
Say on; you have further piqued my curiosity.
Ten years ago I was one of these people.  I have done time.  Then in 2009 I met the Lord Jesus Christ and He transformed my life.  I committed myself to follow God's will in all things.  Then one day he spoke to me and said, I want you to start a jail ministry.  I replied, Unhuh.  I don't want to be a minister.  And the Lord said, I don't care what you want.  You will be a minister.  So I started calling at the jail, meeting with those who wanted to talk seriously about their lives and circumstances.  After a time, the sheriff's department called and asked for my clothing sizes.  Oh, no, I said, you are not going to knit me one of those orange suits.  No, we are going to give you a uniform fitting to your position as official chaplain and you will then be granted free passage in the jail at all hours.  So I am a chaplain.
Wow.  That is an amazing story,  God will open doors for those who will obey His calling.
Indeed, he said.  And there is more.  Just a year ago the Lord told me he wanted me to be the pastor of a local church, an old but dying church in the community. (He named the church.)  Oh, no, Lord, not me.  I don't want to be a pastor.  And God said, I don't care what you want.
Seems, I said, the Lord gets His way with you in spite of what you want.
Truth, he said.  There is no bargaining with God.  It is His way or no way.  At any rate, when I took the church they were down to about fifteen souls in attendance.  Less than twelve months later, we are running fifty-five and growing a bit week-by-week.
Another example, I said, of the Lord's faithfulness.  Keep the faith and carry on!

We spoke of many other things, and the wait was not yet over.

More amazing perhaps than the floor or the ceiling is the staircase:

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Hope Advent Sunday One

Fall 1943.  The Sears, Roebuck Christmas catalog arrived in the morning mail.  Nine-year old Brother gets his hands on it first because he brought the mail in from the postbox.  He is lying on the living room floor engrossed in dreams of what might be when six-year old Sister wanders in and demands to see the new catalog.

Brother, rapt in study of the offerings and wrapped in complete self-interest, denies Sister's request.  She in turn appeals to higher authority and Mama soon advises Brother that he will have to share.  "But," she tells them both, "don't get your hopes set too high.  Study the book and choose carefully.  Here, Sissie.  Saturday you may draw a ring around one, ONE, item with a red crayon.  Buddy, you may draw a ring around one item with a blue crayon.  That's it; then hope for the best."

Saturday morning.  Brother has already made up his mind so he gets the book and quickly circles his choice.  After breakfast, after the table is cleared, after all have gone about their respective chores, Sister takes the book, places it carefully in the center of the dining room table, takes her red crayon and carefully draws a ring around the book!  The table covering is oilcloth, so no permanent damage.  Yet note how much greater the wishes than the hope Sissie was offered!

This catalog is not called "The Wish Book" for nothing.  There is a vast difference between wishes and hope.  For the Hebrew people prior to the time of Christ the hope they harbored in the coming of a Redeemer was grounded in the promises of God.  For centuries they awaited the coming of The Messiah.  God is faithful and we know that He fulfilled his promise in Jesus whom we call The Christ.

 "For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."  --John 3:16

We observe Advent to celebrate the birth of Jesus in Judea two millennia ago. We are reminded to be ready for the Second Advent!

 " For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord" -- I Thessalonians 4:16,17

Jesus said, "Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man comes."  --Matthew 24:44

We have this hope through faith in Jesus Christ.  Someone once said, "Faith is not believing God can; faith is knowing that He will."  And so it is.  Amen

Friday, December 1, 2017

The Universe and Tinker Toys

Last evening there came together a set of circumstances which resulted in an awesome* experience for vanilla and BBBH.  Circumstances?  a) I had heard during the day that the International Space Station might be viewed at 6:17 p. m.,  b) I just happened to look at the clock at 6:17, and c) it was a perfectly cloudless and dark evening, moon and stars shining brightly.

I ran outside and looked slightly west of north and behold! I spotted the satellite at eleven o'clock as I faced north.  I ran into the house excitedly calling for the Better Half to join me in the yard, which she did.  We watched as the object, brightly reflecting the sunlight which no longer lighted our spot on earth, silently progressed to the northeast and eventually faded from sight.

I stood in awe of the ingenuity of mankind; then I took my eyes from the spot where the ISS disappeared from view and looked around the night sky.  I thought as my .eyes attempted to penetrate the depths of the star-studded skies, "God makes worlds, man makes tinker toys."

*I have come to dislike the word because of its incessant and flippant use, too often applied to something which is in no way awesome.  It has lost its meaning.  But in this instance, I can think of no other word which fits as well, assuming we take it at its true worth.