There are a lot of things about 2020 I’d be happy to never see again in my lifetime, but this is one of the few things I saw that I can say I wouldn’t mind seeing again sometime soon.
Except that won’t be happening, because, according to NASA, Comet NEOWISE will not be seen again for 6,800 years. So this was not just a once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity, it was a once-in-86-lifetimes opportunity. Wow.
Fun fact: the comet was named for NASA’s Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) mission, on which it was first sighted.
“O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth, who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens!” (Psalm 8:1)
Photographed 11:02 PM July 16th, 2020; Chippewa National Forest, Minnesota, USA.
10:20 PM CST, nearly fully eclipsed, after which my camera decided it didn’t care to focus at -30 F.
The name may seem dramatic, but it was really just a full lunar eclipse (“blood” for the reddish-brown color it turns), in January (“wolf” by the Native American calendar), on a night when the moon was closer to the earth than usual (“super”).
Which, perhaps, is amazing enough to deserve such a dramatic title.
“God is my King from of old, working salvation on the earth…The day is His, and His also the night; He established the sun and moon.” (Psalm 74:12,16)
Is it Christmas lights? Is it snow?
Inside the house, our Christmas tree with the big white origami star brushing the ceiling is twinkling bright; outside the snow lies “deep and crisp and even”*. In the reflection of the cold windowpane, I can see both at once. It’s the best of both of my December worlds: all the warmth of a joyful holiday celebration mingled with the wide white expanse of winter’s best accessory, now richly blue in the falling dusk.
It’s also an appropriately symbolic picture of Christmas, considering that the One whose birth we celebrate this week was also the very best of both worlds. Not of indoors and outdoors, but of heaven and earth.
If I could show you a picture of Him, you might ask:
Is He God? Is He man?
May the marvel of this mystery fill you with thoughtful joy and wonder this Christmas!
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)
*From the carol “Good King Wenceslas” by John Mason Neale.