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Revelations: See more than just stars

April 8, 2011 at midnight
Updated April 7, 2011 at 11:08 p.m.

Jennifer Preyss

BY JENNIFER PREYSS

Every night, when I get home from work, I step out of my car and walk down a long concrete path that leads to my front door.

For months now, for whatever reason I can't quite explain, I've found myself looking up at the night sky and following the bright stars of Orion's Belt to my doorway.

Perhaps it originally caught my attention because it almost perfectly depicts a bright arrow in the sky. But as the weeks pass, I've come into a strange routine where I seek out my arrow-looking constellation before allowing myself to fall asleep.

"There it is again," I say to myself. "There's my arrow."

I'm not sure why this particular constellation captured my attention those many weeks ago. I can't necessarily argue that it shines more brightly than the other stars in the sky, nor is it any more lovely or dynamic to look upon. But through the months, Orion's Belt has become a source of comfort at nighttime.

I've always been somewhat mesmerized by astronomy; the stars, the planets, the sun, the moons, the vastness of our world that we know very little about beyond our Milky Way Galaxy (relatively speaking).

And I often catch myself staring upward at the sky - especially on clear nights - to allow myself to feel my own insignificance among the larger of God's worldly designs.

It's on those nights, I'm reminded how small I am, and conversely, how big and powerful and awesome God is. And I can feel that divine awe in a mere moment of staring at a starry sky.

So, last weekend, a friend of mine was driving me home from the Poteet Strawberry Festival, and as usual, I found myself searching for Orion's Belt in the night.

I laid my head against the passenger seat of the car and stared out into the blackness, searching for my arrow. It was then, I started wondering, "What is it about this silly constellation that forces me to seek it out?"

I wanted to know more.

A few days later, I went online and researched Orion's Belt. As I read about the constellation, I discovered in Latin America the same belt of the same constellation is referred to as The Three Marys, or the three biblical Marys: Mary Magdalene, one of Jesus' most beloved disciples; Mary, the mother of James, and Mary of Clopas. Each of the three Marys, who were companions of Jesus' mother Mary, were either at the crucifixion of Jesus, or at the tomb where he was buried.

With Easter around the corner, I found smiling uncontrollably while reading about The Three Marys. What are the odds of fixating on a constellation for months, only to realize later, there was a biblical message attached to it the whole time?

So, for the past few nights when I've gazed upon my starry arrow, I not only see God's vastness, but I also see his forgiveness and willingness to die for me. I not only see his perfect worldly architecture, but I also see the man behind the great design. And when I walk to my door, and I notice the arrow following my steps, I remember the women in his life who loved Him so dear, watching over Him until his last breaths on Earth. And I find comfort knowing that they now, appear to watch over me. That's a whole lot cooler than some stinky ol' belt anyway.

Jennifer Preyss is a re porter for the Victoria Advocate. You can reach her at 361-580-6535 or jpreyss@vicad.com.

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