There was a lot of hype. I mean a LOT. News crews couldn’t stop talking about it. The coverage on it had started well over six months ago and if you’ve been breathing in the last two months then there’s no chance you didn’t hear something about it; the path of totality, the horrendous traffic it was going to cause, the gas shortages, the lack of groceries. Businesses had closed down and planned their day around it assuming their employees wouldn’t be able to make it into work. People were prepared; geeked out, or maybe just ready to stop hearing about it.
If you live local, chances are you were just as curious if the crazy was going to be as crazy as they predicted, as you were about the actual event. Either way, there was hype!
I was excited, mostly just excited that it was convenient for us to see. But to be honest, other than a two-minute computer simulated video clip I watched, I really had no idea what to expect.
So we put our glasses on, pulled out our lawn chairs and buckled up. I tried to be extra cool and show up to the party with donuts, but alas the apocalypse really did occur and the ENTIRE TOWN OF STAYTON was out of donuts by 8 am. And the coffee lines, don’t get me started on the coffee lines! Those were the only two things the news should have been warning people about, but I suppose I digress…
Emmitt was really into checking the eclipse through his glasses and keeping me posted on the moon’s status. He heard all about hurting his eyes so he wouldn’t even look out our tinted car window (pre-eclipse) and tell me if there was a cloud in front of the sun for fear of hurting his eyes. I tried the faceplate thing for Asher to which he screamed like he was being attacked by a lion so I played it cool and ripped his glasses out and just pinned them over his face. He liked looking through them and finding the “moon” and then he’d pull my hands away and try and find it without the glasses (pray for him). Madi just marched around like a princess carrying her newborn cousin, Cami and wearing shades when necessary. We were as ready as we knew how.
We watched with wondering eyes as the last percent of light from the sun slid away and the moon glowed with wonder. Darkness swallowed up the light, but not without an unremarkable glow radiating from behind. I really don’t have any words to describe it. Majestic. Jaw-dropping. Mystical. None seem to do it justice. We hooped and hollered and jumped up and down. The kids ran around on turbo speed with glow sticks strapped around their necks and legs and arms. The temperature dropped and the birds started chirping. Matt reported seeing a super confused owl flying around the sky. Our shadows became extra sharp and a few planets twinkled like stars.
Matt was watching it from the parking lot of his school (work, *eye roll*) and he said people’s shouts and cheering could be heard all through town. In an instant, an entire valley erupted in worship. Instant, simultaneous worship at the hand of our God.
But I’m not sure they knew it.
When the overworked network finally calmed down I got a text from Matt that said, “I was really hoping to hear trumpets. Not today, I guess.”
Not today, I thought. Not today.
His beauty, His perfection absolutely radiated our little valley yesterday, and essentially every person stood in pure bewilderment. I haven’t talked to a single person who said, “Meh. It was okay.” Everyone’s response has been even more amazement than they anticipated. For a split second, we all stood in wonder.
Neck’s craned--eyes wide open in complete wonder.
And the reality sunk deep, of the day we really WILL stand in wonder.
A teeny-tiny glimpse of what His radiating light will be like.
“For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather. Immediately after the distress of those days,
‘the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light;
the stars will fall from the sky,
and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’
Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.”
I doubt I’ll make it to another full solar eclipse.
Which is totally fine by me.
I find so much hope in knowing that what I saw was only a glimpse of the glory I will see one day.
Words can’t even describe it.
“He who testifies to these things says,
‘Yes, I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.”