By Anthony Casperson
This past Monday, I was watching the third episode of Critical Role’s new campaign. (Don’t worry, no storyline spoilers.) The DM, Matt Mercer, began setting the atmosphere, telling the party about the surrounding flora. In the midst of painting the scene with his words, he mentioned that very little light emanated from the only visible moon of his world’s two moons.
“TWO MOONS?!” the response came from the party.
Over 400 hours of playing in the first campaign, and the group discovered that night that the world their characters live in has two moons. Taliesin Jaffe, one of the players, opined, “We just never looked up.”
In that moment I laughed. The players had been so focused on the story of their characters’ lives that they had missed the story going on around them. There was a whole world full of story that they missed because their focus remained only on the trials and troubles of their characters’ lives. They’d not pulled their heads out of their story long enough to appreciate the beauty of the story going on around them in the world.
As a DM myself, I felt Matt’s pain having a whole world of creation, full of so much character itself, and the people playing around in it not paying that much attention. (Note to my players who read this: It’s okay. I kinda expect it now.)
A couple of days later, I was driving to work. My eyes lifted to the full moon in the early morning darkness. Clouds framed the heavenly body. Faint light pushed through a single small cloud that brushed the edge of the moon. To say that it was beautiful wouldn’t do justice to the image my eyes beheld.
In that moment, tears welled in my eyes. And a laugh passed between my lips.
You see, the past few weeks have not been the easiest for me. Struggles with depression and loneliness have been floating in my head. My car broke down and (though it’s been fixed now) put a dent in my savings. I’d been pushing myself to finish blog posts that weren’t coming easily. (To be honest, last week’s blog was one of those “previously-written, just-in-case-I-can’t-write-something-one-week blogs that I’d written a long time ago.) Preparing and recording sermons that I was frustrated during. And preparing for a game night in the middle of all of this where I had planned far more adventure than I had time to prepare.
My muscles were tight from stress. Twitches in my left eyes bugged me like crazy. And other health-related issues showed their ugly heads during it all.
That awe-inspiring full moon was my reminder from God to look up from my own story and see anew the beauty of the story that he has created. The story all around me…that’s not about me.
The story is about God. It’s his beauty we see in the world. It’s his love we see in our lives. And it’s his holiness that we are called to. We are less than little specks of dust in comparison to the universe that he created, let alone in comparison to God himself.
But the good news is that he doesn’t want us to just be less than cameos in his story. We humans are God’s greatest creation, the beings made to be images of God. His story went to the cross because of us, for us. But we forget the beauty of the world around us, the beauty of God himself, when we focus only on our own story.
Dear blog readers, loved ones, take some time to look up from the story of your lives and witness the beauty of the story that we so often miss going on around us. Don’t let it be said of us, “We just never looked up.”