Seeing the stars in a different light
The Big Dipper is a group of 7 br ight stars, 3 of which form a handle, and 4 which form a bowl. It is a part of the constellation Ursa Major, or Great Bear. You have probably seen it many times in the north sky. The two outmost stars of the bowl point toward Polaris, the North Star.

All seven stars have names. The second star from the end is not a star but two stars. The ancients used it as a test of good eyesight. You might want to take the test the next time you are looking at the Big Dipper. Of our seven senses, sight is the most treasured. Above all else, we want to see. And we pity blindness. That is why a man in dark glasses posing as blind can easily relieve us of all our change. But there is another kind of sight that is even more important.

There is recorded in Luke an interesting story of Jesus asking a man, “Do you see this woman?” Jesus asked the question because though the man had looked at the woman, he had not really seen her at all.

What do you see when you look at people? In the rambunctious kid down the street, do you see a juvenile delinquent, winding up in prison, or do you see one who with understanding and guidance can become a teacher, a coach, a doctor, a leader of our nation and world?

In a refugee, do you see a threat to our way of life or a person capable of enriching America? Many such persons who have come to our shores and attained greatness number in the thousands.

The ability to see with our minds and hearts is a precious talent that is acquired. Who could see in George Washington, who quit school to become a surveyor, the making of the first president of our country? Who could see in Abraham Lincoln, the rail-splitter, the great leader who would save our nation in the time of its greatest crisis?

George Albert Coe, famous American author and philosopher, contemplating the vastness of outer space, once made this statement in one of his research papers: “Astronomically speaking, man is insignificant.” However, the spiritual sight of Harry Elmer Barnes, the great American sociologist, was much keener. He wrote in a response to Coe’s paper, “Astronomically speaking, man is the astronomer!”

Tonight, why don’t you take a look at that next to the end star and test your physical eyesight? Then, tomorrow, take a good look at all the people around you and test your spiritual sight.

Rev. Nichols is Minister Emeritus of First Christian Church, Temple where he was senior minister for 23 years.

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2010-08-19 digital edition

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