Solar Eclipse Dapples – May 20, 2012

A solar eclipse doesn’t come around every year, so when my sister and I went outside and noticed the world looked a little like an alien planet, we weren’t too surprised to hear the belated news that a solar eclipse was taking place right under our noses. Somewhere millions of professional and amateur astronomers were awing at the skies, filled with gratitude that they were alive to see one of nature’s rarest phenomenon.

My father has been following astronomy since childhood, and noticed that this particular view (below) was unique among the photos of solar eclipses that he has seen over the years. Notice crescent-shaped dapples on the metal shed. This is the pinhole technique on a larger scale! Which means that every splotch of light on a dappled surface is really an image of the sun; most of the time, the sun’s round shape blends together with itself.

Dapples of light on a metal shed, taken during the solar eclipse of May 20, 2012. Notice the beauty of it!
More dapples on May 20, 2012. The eclipse’s “epicenter” was just north of us; hence, the crescent shapes of our climax of the phenomenon.

The lighting gradually returned to normal and the brightness resumed. I remember when I came out (not knowing there was an eclipse going on), how I thought I could “see” the shape of the sun, just not really “look” at it. Turns out, that was because there was a black shape in front of it — the moon in this case.

When the eclipse was all over, my sister noted how much like God light was — how it reflected on objects and shone back. I noticed how much an eclipse was like the state of the earth and of God. God is like the sun — so bright, unviewable, holy, and perfect. We are nothing at all like the sun. In fact, we need the sun to do the most basic things, like grow food or keep warm. Similarly, we need God to bless us with every breath and to keep the cycle of nature going so that we can maintain life as we know it.

But! Note how in this eclipse, the sun was hidden. Think of the moon like sin. Now the analogy isn’t perfect, but you can give it a go. The moon is like sin and all the evil and badness that infiltrates the world. Sin stands between us and God. It keeps us from seeing His true glory. We could almost see Him, we could sense who He is, but the world is still kind of “alien.” There’s something missing. But when sin passes, when the Devil is once and for all defeated by the hand of God’s Justice, and all the wiles of the world pass into the fires of darkness — then we can see the bright and wonderful, unadulterated glory of the Father. What a wonderful day that will be!

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. — I Corinthians 2:9

The proof!

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