Aleteia

When Is the Last Time You Saw a Starry Night? (Video)

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Without the darkness, we cannot see the light. Does this affect how we understand God?

When I see the heavens, the work of your hands,

the moon and the stars which you arranged,

what is man that you should keep him in mind,

mortal man that you care for him?

—Psalm 8:4–5

These words of the psalmist capture the wonder and awe that the night sky inspires in us. But this natural way to contemplate God’s immensity and our littleness is handicapped when we can no longer see the heavens at all.

This video, produced by The Atlantic, points out that it was just a few centuries ago that the Milky Way was visible from almost anywhere in the United States. Now, the vast majority of the population in the US live in light-polluted areas and can no longer see it. From the very beginning the metaphors of light and darkness have been used to capture ultimate realities. How does no longer being able to see the night sky affect our culture, our health, our sense of ourselves and of God?
As Christians called to be stewards of the natural world—and all of the universe—we might think about our use of light and darkness and challenge ourselves to find ways to gaze into the night sky more often. And if this video inspires a longing to see more of the spectacular Milky Way, you’ll enjoy this additional video titled The Unbearable Beauty of the Night Sky, which features night falling over the Chilean Atacama Desert and the incredible images photographers have captured of the southern sky.

 

Zoe Romanowsky is lifestyle editor and video curator for Aleteia.

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