Where evening fades

The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy. (Psalm 65:8)

Have you ever tried to gaze at a blazing sunset?

I rode my bike to the park tonight at that perfect hour when the sun is at an angle where you still need sunglasses but the air is cooling down. Through polarized lenses, I looked at that yellow orb, shrouded in white wisps in a sea of blue sky. (Not this picture.) The effect was blinding. Yet still, I looked.

It's risky to look long at the sun. Even worse, an eclipse of sun and moon. But tonight, with big round sunglasses to protect my eyes, I dared. I glanced. I looked. I almost gazed.*

And looked away. The glare too much, too brilliant...too glorious?

I continued to ride the circle of our small park, but on this pass around I noticed something that had not been there before I looked into the sun's brightness. The people were fading in my vision. Faces blurred. I could still see them, but their images were like those blotted out on cameras when identities are hidden.

And I wondered...is this what it will be like to leave the earth behind, to lose sight of all around us, to step into God's presence?

The Apostle Paul tells us that "Now we see only a reflection as through a mirror..."

And the Apostle John said, "Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is."

When my grandmother was dying, my mom was in the room with her. Grandma was in a lot of pain, but she managed to say one final word. "Jesus." Did she see Him standing at her side, waiting to take her with Him?

All else fades with time. Morning comes, each day new. But just as sure as the dawn will rise, the evening's glory soon fades.

Moses asked the Lord to "teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom." Moses who saw a greater glimpse of glory than the sun's bright glow still asked for wisdom to live well in the few years he had on the earth.

What desires of ours might change, what works of our hands might we alter if we lived in light of that glory, knowing that only God is everlasting and our time under the sun is temporary?

Right now we see the reflection. We gaze on the afterglow in the mirror, and still it is blinding.

But someday, and we do not know what day that might be, we will see the full brilliance of God.

May we have eyes to see and ears to hear.

When all else fades...


*Please note - I have recently come to discover that sunglasses are not enough protection from looking directly into the sun. In fact, they can make it seem safer, when in fact, it is not. So...I will do no more sun gazing - just offside glimpses - nothing direct. My vision faded only briefly tonight...and while it made me think of glory, I felt it wise to mention that the sun can also fade our vision to blindness. Not recommended!