Video Series: “Underneath a Canopy of Stars”

By Kathy Keary

Our full series in the Contemplative Prayer Video Series is here.

Revisit earlier articles in our Contemplative Life Series here.

You are invited to respond through the arts to a passionately crafted, emotionally charged music video that speaks of satisfying the hunger in our hearts to return to a reassuring sense of God’s abiding presence in our lives.

The other day I discovered an awesome music video on Forming the Self’s website.  Forming the Self provides spiritual enrichment for spiritual directors. It was my introduction to the artist, Ellie Holcomb.

While listening to the music video and taking in the images, my eyes became a bit teary. They were not tears of sadness. They were tears that spoke of the overwhelming sense of the divine presence within me. I was bursting with deep emotion. The song spoke to the core of my spirituality.

I often speak metaphorically of the moment when God kissed our souls before placing them in our bodies. That kiss becomes a vague memory that lingers in our hearts. It creates an intense longing in our souls. Somewhere along the way, Grace opens us to the reality that this deep hunger is an undying desire for intimacy with our Maker – the One who longs to be in communion with us.

The song opens with this same sentiment: “There once was a season of light when the distance from heaven was not far behind. I was close to you.” The song speaks to me of our longing amid the darkness that creeps into our lives. The artist passionately and eloquently describes finding God “under the canopy of stars” in the night sky and is assured of the divine presence.

I recognize that your interpretation of the song may be quite different from mine. As you experience it, allow the Spirit to touch your heart and guide your reflection. I will play the video a couple of times. This first time, just get a feel for the words, the sounds, and the images that appear.

When I play the video a second time, I invite you to connect with and identify the emotions that surface.

The video begs for a response. Express all that is whirling within you through the arts whether that is through dance, journaling, painting, singing – whatever way you are drawn to respond.

I hope you enjoyed the music video and prayerfully responded to its impact on you through the arts.

You may also enjoy our Taizé prayer services that we offer in-person and online at the Renewal Center on the first Thursday of each month. Chants, readings, music, candlelight, and silence set the stage for a beautiful contemplative prayer experience.

May you find the Divine presence this week underneath the canopy of stars.

[Kathy Keary, spiritual director, holds a bachelor’s degree in education, a master’s degree in theological studies, and completed Sophia Center’s Souljourners Program, an intense study of spirituality and spiritual direction. Kathy believes that the Divine is present and active in all of life and encourages others to be awakened to the God in all including the Divine within. She enjoys accompanying others on their journey to wholeness discovering the person they were created to be.]

Photo 136082146 / Star © Kalina Vova |

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