Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Lessons From the Moon
May 15, 2003

Tonight I saw my first lunar eclipse. At 9 p.m. my roommate and I fumbled in the dark, damp night air and tried to find the darkening orb through the telescope lens.

Slowly, the moon shrank before my eyes. Through the telescope I could see the bright white surface, darkened by gray craters and patches of shadows, looking surprisingly like the quartz I used to find in the rocky Virginia soil.

Gradually, the shadow inched across, blurring in my eye and changing the circle in the night sky from light into a rusted brown. It never disappeared completely form sight, but remained in the sky, a shadowy form that my eyes had to adjust to see.

It stayed covered an unusually long time, which made its reappearance all the more breathtaking. It began as a tiny fingernail of silver, murky in the clouds. It grew brighter, casting shadows, reawakening the darkened world around me. Silver pools of light reflected in the scattered puddles left f rom an earlier rain shower. The moon slowly took its rightful place back in the sky it had never really left.

The parallels were too blatant to ignore. I feel like I’m in an eclipse right now. My problems, fears, and doubts are shadowing God. He’s still there, darkened by grief, waiting to reclaim His place, the place that He never really left. This eclipse feels unusually long, and I desperately want to see God, in all of His glory.

But I can draw comfort from this–the mere movement of shadows over the surface of my soul reminds me that He is out there. The movement means that there is a Presence, and I must cling to the promise that God remains even when I feel alone in the shadows.

Eclipses don’t last forever. In the great er scheme of things it’s merely the blink of an eye. And then I am left slightly dazed, in awe of such beauty and mystery. For even when the moon was shadowed, I could still see it, still witness it in the gravity that held it in place. Just because the moon was hard to see, the tide didn’t stop. Its presence was still felt. I draw my peace from knowing God continues to work His plan in my life even when His light has passed from my eyes.

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