Were you as fascinated as I by the solar eclipse that travelled across the United States last month? Although not in the path of totality, I will admit that I brushed up on my science and then remained riveted to the TV, marveling as the details of this amazing phenomenon were broadcast.
How amazing that the moon’s direct orbit between the earth and the sun temporarily blocked out the light, creating about two minutes of complete darkness for those within a 70-mile-wide path from Oregon to South Carolina!
During the course of the day, massive crowds across the country eagerly huddled to wait for the skies to dim. When their corner of the world finally darkened, they turned their faces upward and admired the heavy shadow simply because they knew it was bizarre and fleeting. Then rejoicing with smiles of relief, they clapped and cheered to see the light again.
Setting science aside, I could only think of all those who have lost their lives to suicide.
They, too, felt the temperature dropping and the darkness coming, but instead of marveling at it with awe and anticipation, they were overwhelmed by the fearful weight of this dimness in their lives. What if they had known their eclipse was only temporary? And that the sunlight was only masked and would certainly be returning? What if we could have somehow reached them and assured them that their crisis was only a temporary situation?
If only… If only…
Let us all always remember and lovingly remind those we care about that any darkness in our lives is fleeting. The rays of the sun – although sometimes masked – are always permanent. Whenever we experience seasons of depression, anxiety, or despair (and we will!) let us trust that the radiant love of God’s faithfulness is always there veiled behind any cloud or any eclipse we temporary experience.
The sun will shine again!