Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory in the heavens. Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is humankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet: all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild, the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!–Psalm 8
Whenever I fly, I always request a window seat. To me, there is something completely awe-inspiring about looking out the window at the mystery and beauty of God’s creation. What once was large city becomes a miniature town filled with dollhouses, tiny trees, moving cars, and traffic lights. As the plane takes off, the landscape below becomes smaller and smaller until finally, it disappears completely, and we ascend into the mystery of the clouds. Having a window seat view is a sacred experience.
When we are on the ground, it is easy for us to think that wherever we are and whatever we are doing is the center of the universe. It’s so difficult to see outside of the small box in which we live, isn’t it? But flying helps me to reorient myself and to remember my place in God’s big world. When I leave my miniature world behind and ascend into the clouds, the problems that once seemed so life shattering, like the cranky email I got last week or the ever-increasing tasks on my to-do list, suddenly aren’t all that important anymore.
Every time I fly, I’m reminded just how small and insignificant I am and just how great our God is. I think this might be how the psalmist must have felt when he wrote, “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers . . . what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?” (8:3-4).
Who am I that God would care about me and the seemingly insignificant details of my life? Who am I that God would know my worries and fears, my hopes and dreams? Who am I—a small speck that can’t even be seen from above the clouds—that God would want to know me in such a personal, intimate way? And yet, this is precisely how God feels about each and every one us.
But perhaps as we sit in a window seat, seeing God’s big, beautiful world, our question shouldn’t be “Who am I?” but rather “Who is this God?”
Mary Alice Birdwhistell is originally from the beautiful state of Kentucky and a graduate of Georgetown College in Georgetown, Kentucky. In 2009, she moved to Waco, Texas, to attend George W. Truett Theological Seminary and joined the staff at Calvary Baptist Church as children’s minister. Upon completing her Master of Divinity degree in 2013, Calvary called her to become their associate pastor. Mary Alice now calls Waco home and considers ministry to be the sacred gift of sharing life with a diverse community of people. She loves the color purple, anything chocolate, coffee shop conversations, and Kentucky basketball.