A Total Eclipse of the Heart – Sing it, Bonnie Tyler!


Praise the Lord, my soul.

Lord my God, you are very great; you are clothed with splendor and majesty.

The Lord wraps himself in light as with a garment;
he stretches out the heavens like a tent and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters.

He makes the clouds his chariot and rides on the wings of the wind. Psalm 104:1-3

Sunday night, in Colorado Springs, I sat outside by a blazing fire with strangers and watched the gloriously white full moon turn the color of a blood orange in a total eclipse. It was amazing and beautiful – but it could not compare with the total eclipse of the sun on August 21, 2017. It is one thing for the moon to have its light from the sun blocked but to watch the light of the sun disappear is a whole different thing.

Did you see it? Do you remember the slight chill in the air? Travel back with me to that week of the sun going dark – I am glad I wrote about it then.

I wake with a surprise: it is Wednesday already – how did we get here so soon? For me, it is because the light of the sun was blocked by the darkness of the moon on Monday. Darkness fell on my world and I have been slightly confused ever since.

The coming of the total eclipse of the sun descended around us in little crescent patterns of light and shadow. The air cooled; a slight breeze blew softly. The cicadas started up their hum as a strange twilight enveloped us.  A bat made a tight circle at the top of the White Oak to my left. And Pink Floyd floated on the air, strangely shifting us back in time to the 70s. 

I looked back to see my cousin J, reclining on a lounge chair, comical 3-D looking solar glasses across his eyes, softly giggling to himself, face turned up to look at the sun. “Take off your glasses, J. You can look directly at the sun now.” 

The sun was visible to me for the first time in my life. And I think that was the most interesting thing on Monday afternoon as I lifted my face to the sky. The sun – which comes up every morning and sinks below the horizon every night; the sun, which is there in my sky every single day – is there – but I cannot seeit. I cannot look at it because its light is so blindingly bright. It is too much to take in.

The sun’s light must be completely covered for us to look at it, for us to be able to see it. The light of the sun must be completely covered by the darkness of the moon; then we can only ‘see’ it by looking at the edges of its glow. The corona moves and shifts and feathers out it’s light, burning a soft yellowy-golden fire.

Monday, it happened all in minutes. Minutes when time seemed to stand still and magic floated through the air.

Experiencing this eclipse of the sun was better than I expected. Intense emotions flooded to the surface. I watched in awe as my world shifted and I experienced God’s marvelous world in a different light. 

He wraps himself in Light, and darkness tries to hide and trembles at His voice.
How great is our God? Sing with me.

How great is our God? And all will see…
How great, how great is our God!
Chris Tomlin

God’s light is so bright that we cannot look at Him. He is the kind of light that is so intense, so brilliant, that His light can blind us. 

I am reminded of Moses, coming down from the mountaintop after spending 40 days with God. His face reflected God’s light, shining with a terrifying glow. The people couldn’t look at him, and he covered his face until the glow faded. The light of God is powerful. It is overwhelming.

But there are moments when we can catch a glimpse of His light, His glory. We travel into His path. We wait, with our protective glasses in place, respectful of His power and might. Expectantly watching to see His wonders…for just a short moment. Waiting. Watching. Hoping to get a chance to giggle in the twilight.

Question: Is it possible to look at the majesty of God’s light? How do you look beyond the darkness of this world, with all of its small distractions, to see the evidence of God’s glorious light?