Stargazing from the gutter

Photo by Ryunosuke Kikuno on Unsplash

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.–Oscar Wilde, Irish poet (1854 - 1900)

I’m not saying that the gutter is a good place, but I am saying (with Wilde) that you won’t find a more unobstructed view of the stars anywhere else.

One of my all-time favorite lyrics is this one:

Sometimes I think of Abraham
How one star he saw had been lit for me (See Book of Genesis 15:5).
He was a stranger in this land
And I am that no less than he
And on this road to righteousness
Sometimes the climb can be so steep
I may falter in my steps
But never beyond your reach
Sometimes by Step by Beaker and Rich Mullins

In a Bible story that almost everyone on Earth knows, God took the ancient hero Abraham outside and told him to look up at the stars in the night sky. He told Abraham that if he kept trusting God with his life and the lives of those in his family and household, God would make Abraham’s descendants as countless and wonderful as the stars in the sky.

We can look back on that story now and know something that Abraham did not know: God meant for all humanity to share Abraham’s faith so that all humanity might shine like stars in the heavens.

And so, even from the gutter, one of the stars I see in the night sky is a star God showed Abraham. It is a star God lit for me.

God lit a star for you, too.

Remember this next time you’re in the gutter. Don’t try to get out; just look up at the stars and trust the God who calls one of them by your name.

Grace and peace.


Now read this

Bert Bryan

COVID took Bert Bryan’s life on Saturday, January 2, 2021. You might not know Bert. As I thought about him last night, I had to admit that I didn’t know him that well either. We belonged to the same church for almost 20 years. I was in... Continue →