Meditation: Kaufman Hill

Larry Pearce

Our house sits on the southern bank of the Bens Creek in Somerset County, PA, just up off the flood plain. We’ve had problems with too much water over the years, though during the times of drought we’ve worried about running out. The wooded hill above us reaches steeply above perhaps a half mile to generous fields of corn. I used to be able to climb that stretch and look down on the houses and barns of the owners, the Kaufmans, descendants of one of the first Anabaptist families to settle this northern portion of the Laurel Mountains. Now my wife and I are content to drive up the winding township path to what seems like heaven. Those times are usually reserved for occasional meteorite showers and lunar eclipses.

This is no doubt as close to the International Space Station as I’ll ever get. We enjoy this miracle of science, like a bright spotlight on us from the rare cooperation of nations as it passes overhead. Looking west from this perch, we see the Northern Appalachians rising to nearly 3,000 feet, the highest point in the Keystone State. After a gorgeous sunset, the din of artificial lights from the population centers of Ligonier, Latrobe, and Greensburg tint the skyline. The suburbs of Johnstown and Windber  are to the north and the State Prison and ski slopes of Somerset glow from the south. To the east are the red aviation warning signals aloft windmills and radio towers above Bedford. That leaves my wife and I with a nearly 360-degree circle of stars to enjoy, untouched by human technology. Sometimes we take lawn chairs and sit outside the car, and sometimes we take the pick-up truck and just lay in the bed atop a comfy blanket.

The Bible is loaded with references to God’s heavenly handiwork, from Genesis 1: 1, which lists what He created. My Concordance reminds me that “Heaven” has three primary meanings: the atmosphere where birds fly, the universe that holds the stars, and the expanse where God has His primary abode. Similarly, the adjective “heavenly” reminds us that God is perfect (Matthew 5: 48); and our Father knows exactly what we need (Matthew 6: 32); and He is accompanied by a host of celestial beings there who serve His biding (Luke 2: 13).

Sometimes that writers of scripture use the word “sky” to tell us where to look, especially during the daytime, from once when the sun stopped in its course (Joshua 10: 13) to when the sky will split apart in the final days (Revelation 6: 14). Both our upward observation and the inspired, ancient  verses seem to remind us of our place and purpose. Just as the Heavens slowly move over us, so does our God ever move among us, working His will. Alleluia!

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