Once upon a time, there was a girl who lived in the woods.
OK, she was actually a woman. A married woman with a child. But she did live in the woods. No grass. Rocky creek bordering the property. Closest year-round neighbors about 1/4 mile away. It was awesome.
One day this woman and her husband had some people over for a bonfire. Because she was a married woman with a child, a child who was nursing, she found herself left behind when the others traveled the 1/8 mile or so down the gravel road to the firepit.
It was a lovely night, but overcast, and it was dark out, darker than she thought it was, when she set off, with her baby, down the path to join the others. If she had realized how dark it was, she might have looked a little harder for a flashlight. Or stayed in the house.
But she didn't, and soon the lights of the house faded behind her. It was dark. So very dark. She felt alone and afraid. She could not see where she was going. She considered turning back to the house, but couldn't see light in any direction.
When she arrived at the firepit, the others asked her how she was able to find her way in the dark. "I looked up," she responded.
You see, there were no trees over the road, so by looking up, the woman was able to see the contrast between the trees and the not-trees, the slight difference in blackness, and she stayed on the path.
And then she realized that's how she should navigate through life, to look up when she felt alone and afraid and in the dark. To look up, to the Creator, trusting God to show her the way to stay on the path.
Years later, the same woman was walking through the woods again. This time, she wasn't looking up, because it wasn't dark out, and she was wearing snowshoes and didn't want to trip, and there were all these tiny little black bugs on the snow. They were kind of distracting. I mean, what kind of bug hangs out in the snow?
No, seriously. What kind of bug likes to hang out in the snow? They were itty bitty tiny, like gnat-size.
Anyway, she wasn't looking up. She didn't need to. Until God tapped her on the head. The tap looked like a clump of snow falling from a tree branch, but it was a tap. A gentle reminder. To look up. Even when it's not dark.
And it was beautiful.