“Now, I’ve been crazy,
Can’t you tell?
I threw stones at the stars
but the whole sky fell.”
Lyrics from The Stable Song by Gregory Alan Isakov.
Last year we held a worship service in the chapel around this song. I had friends who not only performed the song beautifully but also offered commentary and insight into the meaning of the song. We called the service, “A Celebration of Songs, Poems, and Prayers.”
The conversation was rich. I remember that someone asked what happens when we ask questions or end up questioning our assumptions. What if we throw stones at the stars and the whole sky falls? What if your question or someone else’s question ends up changing everything?
Perhaps that is why we are afraid of questions. We are afraid to ask our questions, let alone listen to anyone else’s questions. The fear is that there will be nothing left if we throw stones and the sky falls.
That conversation reminded me of some of my questions while walking the way of Christ. Why did this happen? Where is God in this? How can this experience be redeemed? These are just a few of the questions I’ve had along the way.
I started with so much certainty. I focused on finding answers. I also did not yet understand the difference between faith and certainty. Along the way, I discovered that the questions are the things that keep us true to ourselves, and faithful in following Christ.
Some years ago, Vickie and I visited the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas (she was there at a gift market and I was there to make sure she behaved.). As you walk into the lobby of that hotel, there is a scene painted on the ceiling that makes you think that you are outside, looking at a blue sky and white clouds. The entire building is an attempt to transport you to Venice. In reality, looking up at the ceiling, I had to remind myself that it was only an illusion.
A few years after that experience at the Venetian, we had the chance to travel to Venice. I can tell you, as pretty as that hotel is, it doesn’t compare to the real thing. The canals and the blue sky and the city itself were beyond amazing.
Perhaps the reason we are afraid to ask questions is that we are afraid that the sky will fall and there will be nothing to hold our life together.
We forget that even if we throw stones we can only reach the ceiling and not the sky. It is only a façade. In reality, what happens is the universe opens up, and we get a glimpse of the vastness and mystery of it all. We end up astonished and filled with a sense of awe.
Walking the Way of Christ is often filled with moments of not knowing. There are questions. That is where the real joy and life are for me. It reminds me that there is so much more ahead of me on the trail of faith. These days, I lean into the mystery and invite the questions. I am committed to staying interested, curious, and creative.
Along the way, go ahead and be a little crazy. Throw stones at the sky. Ask your questions. Who knows, maybe the sky that is revealed beyond the facade will take your breath away!