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Saturday, 21 March 2015

Solar Eclipse - of course

Everyone has a take on this outstanding show of what’s what. I heard several commentators yesterday remark how small it made them feel – they recognised that we are small creatures on a piece of rock flying through space and this sun and moon dance is just out of our control. We are such control freaks that seeing something as awesome as a full solar eclipse puts everything into perspective.

What struck me this morning, though, in thinking about the amazing pictures of it on television news shows last night, was that moment of total eclipse when the ‘diamond ring’ effect is seen. The sun is blacked out by the moon and all that remains is the golden and red glow and the one spot that blazes out like a jillion carat diamond.

That makes me think of people who are going through dark times. Illness or disability. Disappointment in life, relationships, or career. Persecution like that happening to Christians in Pakistan particularly right now, in Vietnam, in the middle East, in Africa. For many many people the moon has slipped across the sun and they are in darkness, but it is at that time of blackest black that the diamond can be seen. The diamond in them. The diamond in the universe. God. 

The time of deepest darkness can be the time of most breath-taking beauty. At that moment, people who were in the places of total eclipse said that all the animals went quiet. Someone I spoke to was in Kenya when there was a total eclipse and she said all the usual animal noises in a rural African area were silenced and there was such an eerie, palpably dark feeling as they were cut off from the sun. 

My prayer this morning is that those who are in such times right now would come out the other side as quickly as the moon passed over the sun. Two minutes or so and then it moved on and the sun’s strength immediately recovered its power and heat and light. 

I pray that all those who feel that the world has gone quiet and the darkness has descended would soon find themselves bathed in the light of God’s love.

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