It was a glorious outward journey. Early evening sunshine flooded the dale. From a pure azure sky pocked with a few mackerel cloud patches, vibrant, penetrating sunlight highlighted white boulders in the stone walls enfolding contented sheep in verdant emerald pastures. The leaves of oak and alder turned to gold at the touch of a million rays of light as my heart echoed the psalmist's song of praise, The heavens declare the glory of God. His gracious love was in every caress of sunshine.
My return journey was so different. Those same bright skies were fast disappearing, captured by creeping darkness. A half moon skipped between windswept clouds painting them with halos, just for passing moments. Quickly now the sky darkened as an army of little clouds merged to expunge the moon's light. As I drove up a steep hill, facing the southern fells, a huge black mass of storm cloud rose ahead of me - a great power of darkness towering over me. The heavens enveloped me in an awesome, ominous cloud of fear. Under an alarming shadow of dread I had no option but to drive on towards the unknown mystery until at a junction in the road my way turned west toward an horizon fringe of light while torrents of rain flooded about me.
Reflecting on the experience I was convinced that the same skies, light and dark, were both expressing the glory of God. The one causing my heart to sing with his pleasure, the other making me tremble before his majesty. I remembered that day when darkness covered the land as God, the Saviour Son died. Then the greatest experience of Divine Glory was hidden in a fearful gloom. I prayed, Lord, keep me looking at your skies where I may learn to love and the fear your glory.