The sight of the moon always brings a halt to whatever I’m doing. It doesn’t matter whether it is a tiny crescent or a super moon like last night. The sight of the moon always grabs my attention. As I drove home from church services last night the super moon was in full view just a little above the horizon of the mountains to the east – it shined brightly through the middle of my car windshield. I mostly wanted to watch it rather than the road as I drove. There were fluffy clouds in the eastern sky along with the moon – clouds that were 3 dimensional, even at night, in the brightness that the moon cast on the sky and the landscape below. The clouds would drift over the moon momentarily obscuring the brightness and then move away again – not to be dramatic – but I wish I was better at describing the beauty and awe I felt from that scene.
I was up as usual before sunrise this morning. I opened the blinds in the sunroom with their view of the western sky and there in full view was that same super moon that had grabbed my attention last night. I took these pictures just before sunrise. I’ve tried for years to take pictures that reflect the beauty of the moon – have always failed – these fail also, but I’ll add them to the post just as a way to aid the sharing of my thoughts.
Both last night’s and this morning’s moon were noticeably brighter than usual. They call it a super moon – it is the only one occurring in 2017. Science tries to explain the extra brightness of the super moon, but for me moons are not special because of the physics involved. Something about them not only grabs the focus of my attention, but also creates in me a sense of wonder and mystery. Not mystery in a negative sense, but in a sense that in the wonder there is being disclosed something about the reality of this creation we live in. I’ve always believed we see and can understand some things about the creator from the creation. There is a measure of joy that attaches to watching the moon in the sky and there is even a feeling of hope that comes over me. You can call that romanticism if you want, but for me the wonder and mystery and joy and hope is not matter-of-fact, but overtly pervasive in its message. Even though in 70 years I’ve watched the moon in its stages and quite a few super moons over and over again in clear western skies. Those same inescapable feelings each time always arise.
Our individual existences are so very miniscule in comparison to the operation of the universe – it is laughable that we each get so full of ourselves, and act out a life within the universe giving the impression we believe the universe revolves around us. It is my inclination day by day to measure each thing that happens – both in my little life and in the world at large – in terms of my own interests – as if my interests are those that keep creation moving along. Staring out at the moon – witnessing the wonder and awe of it restores the sense of the reality of my smallness and insignificance in it all. In all of its glory the moon rules the darkness of the night, but only because it reflects the brightness and power of the sun of the day. The moon is so small and powerless compared to the sun, and yet it takes over and is the source of wonder as it shines in the night. A life is like that in many ways – it can only shine with the impact of a moon’s light when it reflects the goodness of the Creator of all good. This moon that is so successful at grabbing my attention – the moon in its wonder and awe and even mystery has power even though it is just a reflection of another’s light. And so, even as it reminds me of my smallness and insignificance within the creation; its shining in the night manifests that the Creator put it there with purpose, and at the same time put me here with purpose. This super moon in all its brightness and glory helps me realize, that even though tiny and weak, there is a reason for my being here. And though creation certainly does not revolve around me, it gives affirmation to a hope that a life can have impact that matters some in fulfilling the purpose of our Creator.