Posted by: Melissa Bane Sevier | October 4, 2018

The magical nature of being human

“Magical” is not a word that many people of faith often use, because it conjures, so to speak, something they may not believe in. And yet, every human in touch with soul or faith who is able to look at the night sky is blown away. It both minimizes and maximizes everything else. It is like watching magic happen right in front of our eyes.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them? Yet you have made them a little lower than God, and crowned them with glory and honor. [from Psalm 8]

Scientists see the physics of the sky. Artists see the beauty. All notice its perfection. The ancients saw forms and named them. One of the definitions of magic is “mysteriously enchanting,” true enough when we’re talking about the moon and stars.

The psalmist looks up at that magical sky, then looks around at fellow humans. Instead of feeling dismayed (at this moment, anyway) by how they often behave unmagically, the writer uses the same sky lenses to view people. They are almost god-like.

All human beings, not just Jews or Christians or Muslims or Buddhists or Hindus. Not just faithful people. All mortals.

Humans are just as magical in the mind/heart/eyes of God as is the clear night sky.

In this country, the belittling of people has become so common that horrible statements seem ordinary, and they come from everywhere, even from the highest elected and appointed officials. Even from people who profess a strong faith. We sometimes act as though a person we disagree with is not even human, much less “a little lower than God.” Perhaps if we thought of each other the way God thinks of all of us, we might have more patience and might encourage more growth.

I’ve been particularly dismayed lately by the treatment of women who come forward to challenge men they claim have abused them. Is every one of them telling the truth? Probably not, but we have a responsibility to see them as amazing creations, to hear them, to respect their stories, to believe their recollections, to trust their hearts. For too long (like, forever) we have always and first believed the man, the minister, the celebrity, the politician, the leader, the wealthy, the powerful; we have not believed the child, the teen, the woman, the powerless, the poor, the LGBTQ person. Why? Because the former have an outsized voice, a better platform? Because we admire them more? Certainly, the accused should be treated with equal respect, but we can never overlook those who have held their experiences inside for so long out of fear.

I’m not saying these issues are simple. They are not. But we owe it to everyone to see each person—accuser and accused—as a work of heavenly art, aside from politics. I have been amazed at the courage of abuse survivors, whether they are young people or adults. They are passing on their fortitude to others, spreading the ability and willingness to challenge those who’ve harmed them.

We share hope for new ways of living together in the world when we remember to look up and are drawn into something so large, so timeless, so incredible as the night sky. And then, like the Psalmist, we see each other as valuable, equal, worthy of respect. We are all beautiful star people, constellation people, moon people. We are magical.moon, copyright, low, blog 2-20-17

© 2018 Melissa Bane Sevier




  1. Melissa, Thank you for sharing your convictions and insight with your wonderful gift with words. I confess that this past week has sparked anger, grief, shame, and emotions I can’t yet name, that stem from my personal experiences and the experiences of accompanying others. My words have felt inadequate and feeble, but I’m strengthened and given more hope each time I read or hear “magical” words such as yours. Thank you again for sharing your gift! Peace, Lisa


  2. Your comment echoes my feelings, Lisa. All the best, and thanks.

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