The Backdrop of the Kansas Horizon

If creation tells of God, as we have on authority it does, then the uncluttered expanse of the Kansas sky tells of the wide expanse of God’s mercy and the awful power of his love.

I have lived the city life of the third largest metropolitan area in the U.S. for six and a half years now. And one of the dull heartaches I carry with me is the loss of the view of the nighttime skies of Kansas. Here there is humming neon and a dull radiation that blots out the sharp pinpoints of stars. Here there are Babel towers that blot out the theater of God’s grace for the contemplation of the achievements of men. The city skies are an atheology. Not necessarily virulent or angry so much as blind and ignorant. Here is man, and here is all there is to see.

But the Kansas skies preach, and preach a gospel that will shut a man’s mouth so that the fruitful silence may be properly attended. There is no mercy that cannot be found in the bright expanse, and no soul-gripping terror that can be avoided. There are the dry summer winds that parch and dessicate, telling a man that he is insufficient unto himself. There are the powerful thunderbursts that drench and flood, revealing a man’s incapacity to shield himself from the power of the deluge. Springtime brightness gives way quickly to the whirling chaos, which destroys in a flash, and leaves heartache and loss beneath the return of luminscent blue skies. Even the stillness of the dark winter nights are full of theology, bringing clarity in the frozen death of once living things.

The Kansas skies preach, and what they preach is twofold. Man is ephemeral, sprouting quickly, but having no life in himself, ever dependent upon the mercy of rain and sun and wind. And they preach the ever-varied depth of the loving mercy of God. A mercy that is uncompromising, relentless and ever dangerous. God’s love is never safe, but it is ever good. Under the tornadic sky, man is left with destruction and chaos, brought to the realization that all his monuments, even his life itself, that gift from his Maker, may be taken from him at any moment. But under the bright blue skies that follow, man befriends man, grief greets grief with a ready hand, and love and mercy flow between men because they have first flowed from the Almighty.

If one has been born and raised under the Kansas skies, and if he is attentive, he cannot but be evangelized by creation’s seasonal gospels. For the testimony of the horizon is of a love and mercy, fearful and dangerous to be sure, which stretches to no limit that can be known and encompasses all, good and evil, within its embrace.