When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained,
What is man that You are mindful of him,
And the son of man that You visit him?
For You have made him a little lower than the angels,
And You have crowned him with glory and honor.
There is an organization known as the Star Legacy Foundation whose purpose is to research the cause of stillbirth and, hopefully, bring about its end. They just had their yearly stillbirth summit, and one of the things they asked was for all stillbirth parents to submit the names of their stillborn children to hang as stars from the ceiling of the room where the summit would take place. A couple of ladies in one of the grief groups I’m in on Facebook were going to the summit. They offered to look for our stars and share photos if they could find them. There were a lot – too many – stars at the conference, and they were hanging high above those gathered. From what I could tell in our group, Sebastian’s was the only one that was found. That’s something that I’ll forever be grateful for.
But it reminded me of all the times stars are mentioned in Scripture. Many of the references to stars have to do with there being so many of them. Others add onto our inability to number the stars by saying that despite there being so many, God knows them all by name!
Praise the Lord!
For it is good to sing praises to our God;
For it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful.
He heals the brokenhearted
And binds up their wounds.
He counts the number of the stars;
He calls them all by name.
Great is our Lord, and mighty in power;
His understanding is infinite.
Psalm 147:1, 3-5 (emphasis mine)
It’s hard to remember to sing praises some days. These days without our loved ones – my days without our Sebastian – they are hard. But as we were reminded at his funeral, we still bless the Lord’s Name for the gift of Sebastian, and we bless the Lord’s Name for His taking Sebastian back to Himself. The brief gift of this child we barely knew has given me the opportunity to share about Christ with many others – people who might not have given me the time of day outside of our grief. But they are willing to listen now. Maybe they’re just being polite. Maybe they’re curious about why a baby died or how a mother can go on after such a tremendous loss. But they take the time to listen, so I’ll continue to take the time to tell them about the God who holds me up, who took Sebastian back to Himself, and who one day will take me back to Him as well – not because of anything I have done, but because of what He through Christ has done for me. The God who loved our little star and knew his name even before we did loves him more completely that even I ever could.
Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
Praise Him in the heights!
Praise Him, all His angels;
Praise Him, all His hosts!
Praise Him, sun and moon;
Praise Him, all you stars of light!
Praise Him, you heavens of heavens,
And you waters above the heavens!
Let them praise the name of the Lord,
For He commanded and they were created.
He also established them forever and ever;
He made a decree which shall not pass away.
Praise the Lord from the earth,
Both young men and maidens;
Old men and children.
Psalm 148: 1-7a, 12