This hand painted Italian ceiling was installed in one of the 58 guest rooms located at the California home (dubbed Castle) of Wm Randolph Hearst. They say that the occupants of these rooms weren’t given much time to spend looking up at it. Hearst insisted that his guests stay busy outdoors playing tennis, taking hikes, riding horses, or frolicking in the Roman swimming pool. They weren’t given much time to look up at the ancient handcrafted Italian splendor that Hearst had imported and installed into these rooms.
Now thats a problem. One could argue that getting outside into the sunshine, breathing in the fresh seaside air and engaging in a wide variety of physical activities is good for body and soul, and it is, yet . . .
Human beings were made to look up. We look upwards for help, for insight, for support, and for direction. A shepherd once wrote, “I lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from?” I saw this quote on a monument in a very well visited public garden in LA but the inscribers had removed the question mark, turning it into a statement instead of a heart’s cry, attributing the hills themselves with the power to help. They got it wrong. While the hills are alive with the sound of music and more our help does not come from them. Oh no. Our help comes from a Higher Source, higher than the top of Mount Everest. So don’t fix your eyes there, that’s too low. And though our true Source is higher than the highest mountain peak on earth, when we lift up our eyes we realize that our Help is present with us. Not on a hilltop, not in an imported Italian ceiling, not as an extravagantly wealthy billionaire.
The shepherd knew as he wrote these words, “. . . my help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”
I lift up my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip, He who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you, the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm, he will watch over over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forever more.