Where were you when…. The total eclipse of 2017 occurred?
I was at work standing on the top deck of our parking garage sharing glasses with a stranger because I hadn’t gotten around to buying my own. The news reported that somewhere in the neighborhood of $7B (that is a whole bunch of zeros) would be lost today due to un-productivity. I admit, I contributed to that number as I watched the eclipse happen several times across the nation via the NASA observatory telescopes that were streaming live throughout the day.
Zoomed in on the sun, the telescope tracked the moon as it moved its way across the face of the sun. Ever so slowly, the visible sun became a crescent, then a sliver and then… with what looked like a last hurrah bright flash of light, the sun was snuffed out. Total darkness.
With the same abruptness, like the lighting of a gas-stove burner, the darkened disc of the moon was surrounded by a halo of light. The telescope zoomed even further in and you could see solar flares in the halo. Then, again, it was abruptly dark. Ever so subtly, a tiny sliver appeared as the sun and moon continued their paths, growing ever larger until the sun was revealed in all of its bright glory. It was startlingly breathtaking. The whole thing took less than 5 minutes.
The eclipse was visible in some fashion everywhere in our nation: from total eclipse to 50%. In Georgia, where I live, we were in the high 90% range. We would not witness the complete darkening of the sun. But it would be pretty darned close. Based on what I saw from the telescope, I had certain expectations of what I might see in real life.
I stood there on the roof of that parking deck sharing glasses with that kind stranger, looking up at the almost 100% eclipse. It was the tiniest sliver of sun. And yet, if someone had walked outside not knowing what was going on, they would have simply thought it was a bit hazy – certainly not dark. Not even close. I was initially tempted to be disappointed when I was overcome by the remarkable truth God was showing us – all of us – believers and non-believers alike – in that moment.
From the perspective of the telescope, all you saw was the sun and the moon. And when the moon crossed in front of the sun, the world (my computer screen) went black. Without any other context, it might be tempting to believe that darkness can triumph over light.
The truth is, the darkness of the moon could not block the light. The tiniest little sliver was enough to make it seem like the middle of the day (which it was). The mere presence of the sun behind the moon was enough to cast a dim glow even in the darkest areas. Videos from total eclipse areas bear witness to this phenomenon. It was dark enough to trigger streetlights and fireworks. But it was never totally dark.
The presence of light always triumphs over darkness. Always.
God’s Word is the light. Jesus is the light. God showed off today. He made a point. Let’s not miss it.The presence of light always triumphs over darkness. Always. Click To Tweet
There is so much we can take from this. I don’t want to tell you how to apply this thought. I’m going to leave that up to you and the Lord. I’d love to hear your comments and have you share the “light” of God’s Word that is meaningful to you though. Please do.
I know what it means for me. Go. Be a light.