I Am Important

I should have felt small. Instead I felt significant.

I rolled over and threw back my sheets. Why wasn’t I asleep yet? The house had been dark for hours while I was still lying here, wide awake. I gave up on sleeping and walked over to my window. From here I could easily see the city stretching out from my house to the desert, and the desert stretching out from the city to the horizon.

From the windowsill, I looked over the city. This was the first time I’d watched it so closely, and though it was dark, I seemed to see it more clearly than ever before. I could trace streetlights shining along roads and traffic lights signaling at intersections. Lights glowed from houses, blazed from signs, and flickered from cars.

As I stared at the city I was amazed by it all: by all the life happening under those lights, by the civilization symbolized by those lights, by the progress that had created those lights. Except when using candles or fires, our ancestors had to go to bed when the sun went down. But we have harnessed energy to light our streets, power our ovens, run our TVs and telephones and toasters. What could be more miraculous?

Even as I thought about those triumphs, I looked out past where the city ended in darkened mesas and extinct volcanoes and then up to the sky, where millions of stars twinkled and sparkled and glittered in the heavens. Starlight came from billions of miles away and was hundreds or even thousands of years old. It didn’t need to be turned on or transmitted by wires. And it was more beautiful than any lights display could ever be.

The city lights, which took thousands of us to create, didn’t begin to compare with what Heavenly Father had made. Thinking about the vastness of what I was seeing, I expected to feel myself drop to insignificance. Instead I had a feeling that I was Heavenly Father’s daughter. He knew I was sitting in a little bedroom looking at the sky and thinking about Him. And I knew that even though He created so many worlds and galaxies, He cared about me.

I stayed by the window for a long time. When I got back to bed, I was filled more with feelings than thoughts: feelings of amazement and love, excitement and peace.

Illustration by Julie Ann Allen