God allowed me to see the eclipse on the 20th. It was close - that morning was accompanied by severe headaches and muscle pain - but by the time we were going to leave the meds had done their job
We drove out to Mesquite, a small town that was further in to the eclipse swath - about a 1 1/2 to 2 hour drive. The hills here would have blocked the last part of it as the sun would sink behind them.
A friend had gotten some welder's glass for us to view through, and it was amazing. As we drove we saw folks congregating on every high hill accessible from the road - little kids jumping up and down, grabbing safe viewing glasses from one another, racing each other down the hills - oh, for just a tea spoon of that energy!!
But I digress...
We found a parking lot beside a gas station and whipped out our glass (we had two pieces) The first tiny bit of shadow had us tingling with excitement - when I really thought about what was happening - the moon passing in front of the sun way out there in space - I felt like a tiny ant perched on a pebble. Wow! I could see the shadow move!
I started trying to take some pics thru the welder's glass - amazingly some of them actually turned out!
More and more shadow filled the circle - the temperature began to drop. I was really surprised because I expected a large drop, and it went only from scorch to hot - but a definite change. Little by little it kept going and then, finally, it was complete . It looked like a cheerio in the sky thru the welder's glass! At fully eclipsed the sun was still very bright - I was surprised by that - still too bright to view without protection, surely, but noticeably cooler.
I love the desert when the shadows lengthen. The harsh scald of a sky gentles, the nooks and crannies outline themselves in cool blues, and the colors of the sandstones glow. God is such an accomplished artist! As you drive along the roads here the scenery changes every time you turn a corner - yucca forests turn into brush turn into streams with cottonwood trees turn into cactus, ocotillo, palo verdes - and here and there a pronghorn antelope or coyote or roadrunner adds some motion. Just like the life of a CI, the closer you look, the more color and life you find.
As a CI, it may seem to you that you are locked in a desert without a key, gasping for water and crawling inch by inch to survive from one day to the next. But if you know Him, He will provide "streams in the desert", and you will find, here and there, a token of His love for you. Look around you and you will see Him drop these gifts into your day - for me, a laughing child's voice floating from the park, a singing bird or nest of hatchlings, a cool, refreshing summer shower, the sound of the wind in the trees. Certainly these are small things as the world counts them - and what delights me most likely would leave you unimpressed. But I know Him, I know His loving heart, and I know He loves you just as much as He loves me. Perhaps for you it is a parking place near the door, a faithful doggie's welcoming waggle, the sound of a tender voice at the end of a rough day - whatever it is, start looking for it. The same God Who designed eclipses and meteors designed you, and He knows you better than anyone else ever will. Every day He leaves something on your doorstep, so to speak, something to bring you joy and delight.
Just as we needed special dark glass to view the eclipse, so the "special spectacles" of a trusting heart will unveil the small gifts He has hidden in your day to remind you that you have not been forgotten in the desert.
We serve an awesome God, yes, but He is also tender-hearted and generous. My prayer for you this day is for a pair special spectacles.