August 22, 2017

Praise Him, Sun and Moon

Living in the narrow path of totality for the 2017 solar eclipse, I've been excited about it coming. Although I remember a partial eclipse as a child, I had hopes that totality would be a particularly unique experience.

It did not disappoint. 


The sky lit up with a sunset in midday, filling the horizon with orange and pink while the sky above ripened to a deep blue. The crickets started chirping, calling out the end of a day several hours too early. And then the moon moved totally in front of the sun, leaving just a glowing ring we could watch without our dense glasses. The glow sticks I passed out to my family a few minutes earlier added to the celebration. 


My mother-in-law texted afterward about her 97 percent eclipse. I responded that 97 percent had been pretty boring compared to totality. She called me an "eclipse snob." That may be fair, but the difference between 97 and 100 was much more than the difference between 94 and 97. Sometimes, just a little change can make a world of a difference. 

The only problem was the 2 minutes and 29 seconds passed much too quickly. When my brother-in-law shouted out a 20-second warning, I thought he had to be joking. But then the sun slowly came back.


The whole event really was fascinating. And quite amazing. To think that due to distance, the moon and the sun look exactly the same size and line up every couple of years is quite remarkable. There is literally no where else in our solar system where such an event can be viewed. If the sun or moon was a bit bigger or smaller, or the earth was a bit closer or farther from one of them, it wouldn't work. I don't understand why God created it all that way, but I'm left amazed nonetheless. Perhaps the words of Psalm 148 put it best:

Praise the Lord from the heavens;
    praise him in the heights above.
Praise him, all his angels;
    praise him, all his heavenly hosts.
Praise him, sun and moon;
    praise him, all you shining stars.

During the eclipse, even the trees joined in the spectacle, creating their own version of the pinhole projection system I made for my son to watch when not looking up with his glasses. Let all of creation praise him; the sun and moon, the crickets and the trees. Amen!

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