“Hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive, and act, and give to everyone according to all his ways, whose heart You know” (1 Ki 8:39).
Eight times in his prayer, Solomon uses the phrase “hear in heaven.” Why? Because he had earlier asked and answered the question: “Will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You. How much less this temple which I have built!” (v 27). Chile is one of the astronomers’ favorites. The Cerro Tololo Observatory, over 7,200 feet above sea level, boasts el cielo más limpio del mundo: the clearest skies in the world. The sky is clear 200 days a year.
But must we peer out into the vast universe to plead with The God Out There? By no means! We have been “brought near” by Christ’s reconciling work. As David Anderson-Berry describes, from how far, like Stephen, can you see a familiar Face? From how far, like the three on Transfiguration Mount, can you hear “such a Voice”? Lord, make me conscious today of your nearness.