Sun Turned to Darkness

For the first time in ninety-nine years a total solar eclipse occurred in the United States, stretching from sea to shining sea. Contrary to what I had heard from some sources, the last total eclipse occurring in the United States was on July 11, 1991, but it covered only the state of Hawaii and the southern tip of California. What made this one unique was that it stretched from the Pacific to the Atlantic oceans, something that has not happened since June 8, 1918. Since the eclipse would reach 97% totality where we live, Chelsea and I didn't drive to where we would see a complete eclipse, something we probably should have done. But it was impressive none-the-less. Our neighbor let us share his pair of eclipse glasses and we stared intently into the bottom of a cereal-box-turned-eclipse-projector. We are certainly not alone. Across the United States, millions of people stopped what they were doing, donned silly-looking glasses, and stared at the sky. For a few moments nearly all of America was united, experiencing something they would not soon forget.

The eeriness of the sun darkening in the middle of the day reminded me of a prophecy found in the Old Testament. "The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord" (Joel 2:31). While we usually consider the fulfillment of this prophecy to have occurred during the Great Dark Day on May 19, 1780, the total eclipse of the sun on August 21, 2017, was a subtle reminder to me that the great and awesome day of the Lord can't be too far away. Someday soon the entire world will stop what they are doing, stare at the sky, and experience something they will not soon forget. Oh may that day come soon!