Etched in the Heavens

“I dreaded leaving home.  I wouldn’t see my father for months at a time.  I didn’t know if I could accept that.  Dad was all I had.

“One night I came to him teary eyed.  ‘Dad, I’m going to miss you so much,’ I sobbed.

“He took my hand and led me outside to our garden.  A full moon bathed the grass and bushes in silver. ‘Look to the moon,’ he said.  ‘Wherever you go, this same moon will be shining on you and on me. I will leave a message for you there.  When you miss me, just look at the moon and you will see how much I love you.'”

                                                – Roma Downey, from her story in Guideposts, March 2012

Looking out my window, my eyes fall on the darkened home across the way and my heart turns to prayer for my neighbor and her forty-something son.  Doctors have just told him, his life is now short.  Unfamiliar cars are parking in their drive these days.  Perhaps close friends, loved ones coming to bring comfort. 

Send them someone they know and trust to share your heart, I pray.

I know my neighbor from book club, but not intimately.  I’ve never met her son at all.  Intruding on them now does not seem like God’s leading.  But prayer does.  I walk the loop of my cul-de-sac, talking to the One who sent His son – this day, 2000 years ago – to pour his heart out for each of us.

Wrap them in your peace.   Show them Your heart.  Let him know he is not alone, this is not the end.  How You wait to hold him close, I breathe.

“Knowing hours are now precious, he wants to record stories of his life,” another neighbor and closer friend than most of us, tells us at book club.  She is going to “interview” him and help him record. She asks us for our thoughts on possible question topics.  Inwardly, I am whispering…

Fill him with your stories, LordHymns he may have sung as a boy.  Words of life he may have once learned from You.  The love of the Father’s heart running towards him as You do on every page of the Bible…

Circling by their home as I walk and pray, I feel His prompting – find a card, a simple message of My Heart…

Another neighbor stops me to talk, glances sadly over at their house.  “You’ve heard?” she asks.

 “Yes,” I nod.  “I want to get a card…”

She shakes her head.  “What can you say –?” she wonders.

I don’t know.  Show me, Lord, I muse.

One scripture is on my heart a lot lately.  But – it seems sort of – different.  Is this really what You want me to share? I wonder.

I run errands, finally stop to browse cards.  

Lead me to one that offers your HOPE and GRACE, in love, I ask…  and…miraculously led…find it in the very first one I pick up.  A simple message to let them know I am praying for peace, comfort of His presence.

I want to keep my own words simple too.  Just present His love.  What are the words?       I entreat Him to show me.

Again the scripture story comes to mind.  Trust me, He whispers.

I look it up online, find the translation that speaks most to me.  Inside the card, I preface it with a note explaining how at Easter, I love this story because it is His beautiful promise to hold onto us…forever.

Then… I print it out:

One of the criminals hanging alongside cursed him:

“Some Messiah you are! Save yourself! Save us!”

But the other one made him shut up: “Have you no fear of God?…  We deserve this, but not him—he did nothing to deserve this.”

Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you enter your kingdom.”

 He said,

“Don’t worry, I will.

Today you will join me in paradise.”

– Luke 23:39-43 The Message

I watch for the postman to complete his route around our block, then walk the card over to place in her box, asking the Lord to anoint it to touch more than I know…

Father, you promise your Word never goes out empty, I remind Him.  Use this somehow to speak hope to them… encouraging them to ask,  like this one on the cross next to you… and know… the promise of life unending…

Walking back home, I reflect on the two who were closest to Jesus in the account of that moment…abandoned by his Father… there between one who scorned, one who received the gift He so hard-won for him…

And how at the instant it was finished… our Father wrote it -everlastingly- for us there on that mount.  Because He misses us.  A message written across the stars, the moon, and all the heavens, calling us to know, to ask, and simply… receive.    This day, with me, in paradise…


“Sure enough, I was dreadfully homesick in England…I longed for the sea and sky of Ireland and the reassuring sound of Dad’s prayers… Then I looked up.  The moon had slipped out from behind a cloud, it’s brightness three-dimensional.  My father’s message was etched in the heavens: ‘I love you, Roma. I love you.'”

                    – Roma Downey


Today… our Father’s very same message is waiting there… for you. 

©  Pam Depoyan

About Pam@Writing...Apples of Gold

I love to hear your thoughts, even chat back and forth amongst comments.Won't you join the conversation? :) ..................................................................................................................... May my stories refresh you, like a whisper from our Father's Heart !
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18 Responses to Etched in the Heavens

  1. Diane says:

    So beautifully written, Pam…I am comforted and full of hope just from reading these words.

    I love your heart, Pam. It so reflects our Father’s heart. Like Father, like daughter! I know your prayers avail much. Your neighbors are so blessed by having you live across from them.

    God bless you! Have a wonderfully reflective Resurrection!

  2. Thank you, Diane. If that is true, then it is all Him. I have been asking Him to give me something special to put on the blog for Good Friday. And Roma’s story touched me so much…(like she did in her “Touched By An Angel” TV series)… it was a catalyst. God bless you with a beautiful celebration of this weekend too! I’m glad this filled you with hope too! Please keep my neighbor and her son in your prayers. I have the feeling time is really short.

  3. Lolita Valle says:

    You were led by God for the right word to send to your neighbor. I do hope those will not be in vain as they look up to God, for comfort especially give assurance to the one going ahead and for the one to be left behind. And may there be a miracle too.

    Pam, your prayers and ours will never be in vain too. They would set them up to heaven with the angels as messengers of peace, love and hope.

    So very beautifully written, coming from a loving heart, full of good report for those around you. Thanks, Pam.

  4. Diane says:

    Yes, Pam, I will be praying.

  5. Thanks Lolita, for your encouraging words… I love that prayer can never go out empty, just like the Word… I agree with your words of prayer here too!

    …and thanks for praying, too, Diane…

  6. cathy says:

    we will pray for your neighbor’s son also.

  7. floyd says:

    Awesome post and reminder. When our heartbreaks for the right reasons, I’ve figured out that it is our Father making our heart bigger. Thanks for sharing your huge heart in words. God bless.

  8. lolita says:

    It’s amazing when we look back to this post. It is almost a year and we are now on Easter’s door again.

    I loke what our pastor said last Sunday about how God when He issues a command to us…… that it is already a blessing to be claimed by us. Like when He promises our obedience makes us dwell in His abundance. Like when we love one another, even in just wishing them well in our prayers or even in doing for them little services, we proclaim His legacy of love.


  9. Pam~~
    I reflect upon your beautiful message–touched by it, the image of Christ hanging on the Cross always hits deep in my heart–thinking about how quickly HIS journey went-the people praising HIM, wanting to hear every word spoken–suddenly they are shouting “Crucify HIM” and yet HE knew what LOVE means–asking HIS Father “Forgive them” and you have reminded me through this wonderful spirit-filled post of HIS LOVE–its steady, never ending, follows us all the way…….

    When I posted with you the other night about my dear neighbor, Vernon, 99 years old–who is slowing down and fell~~we all feared a broken hip was the news—The LORD is not ready for him yet, nothing was broken, just heavy duty bruising all over his body. We went to see him at the hospital today~~~~talk about a pre Easter surprise–the Nurse saw us looking into his room with blank, fearful faces and she said “Well you just missed him, the family took him home and boy was he ready to go!!!”

    I asked “how is he doing?” Seeing the normal reaction, her eyes looking at me to see if I really did know Vernon and as I spilled out us being neighbors, long time friends, and actually getting to his home right after he fell, she paused and looked at me, I sensed the importance of HEARING her words–“well, he is doing the same—no big changes, just slowing down.”

    When we got home, Vernon’s driveway was filled with cars~~some I have never seen before, we were thrilled Vernon got to come back home…. Perhaps this is a Easter gift for all who love this special man…. Thank you Pam–for helping me find some Easter Joy… love, martha

    • So good to hear he is home again… every moment God gives has purpose and plan and i know He is holding Vernon, all who love him, and you and your family too, Martha. Thank you for sharing this followup story… I’m so glad this story brought you some Easter joy too. May God’s message of Love (etched in the sky as Roma’s dad said about his own for his daughter, how much more is God’s!) shine for you this season more than ever… I pray healing over Vernon’s bruises too… and joy for his being able to be back in his home. Thanks, Martha…

  10. lynndmorrissey says:

    Today you will be with me in Paradise. What incredibly, comforting words. And how special in how you sougth the Lord in just the right ones to send. It means so much to know that people are praying and that they care. It means so much for them to reach out in hope. So often we neglect our literal neighbors–the ones who are so familiar, and yet in many ways whom we don’t really know. You have the heart of a Good Samaritan, Pam, in all you do, say, write, and draw. Thank you for the way you minister to us all……

    And I was so excited to read about Vernon getting to come home…..home to his loved ones and home to neighbors like Martha who love him. I love the elderly, and I can tell Martha does too. Vernon is so fortunate to have a neighbor like her!!

    Thanks for all the resurrection hope today Pam!

    • I love that term, “Resurrection Hope,” Lynn. I used to think of that only as our eternal hope, which is the best of course. But i also see now how God continually gives us hope of resurrection from all that’s coming against us in this life too. Resurrection from lost jobs, illness, bad reports — all the “locust’ has stolen. Halleluia!

      Thank you for those beautiful words. You humble me. I have been thinking today (but not yet writing) of what Holley’s prompt is today about what is the joy in your dream. I’d have to say one is hearing that God uses what i write or draw to encourage and uplift and minister.

      I hoped you would come back here and see Martha’s report on Vernon! Yes, she truly has a heart for the elderly – I love them too. And Vernon is blessed with Martha and many who love him from the sounds of it!

      Blessings upon blessings of resurrection hope to you, Lynn!

  11. laura says:

    Our Pastor preached on The Thief this past Sunday. She’s doing a series on the witnesses of the cross. My husband sang that song by Third Day, The Thief, to go with her sermon. It gave me goodsebumps. Bless you for ministering to this family in their time of need. I wonder how they are now?

    • Thank you, Laura. The man did pass away last Easter season (I think he was maybe in his early 40’s.). I see his mom in neighborhood get togethers, and she seems to be doing well… but I’m sure it is still hard. I’m not sure I’ve heard that song…but it sounds beautiful. I will have to look for it to listen. Your husband must have a good voice… 🙂

  12. Pingback: Hope is an Easter Song | Writing… Apples of Gold

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