As we approach the end of the year, I am dedicating the last four posts in my blog series to one of my favorite subjects to photograph: Light. Which might sound a little backwards considering the fact that we are approaching the darkest time of year (astronomically speaking). But I think it makes sense considering the fact that you can’t know how much you need the light unless you’ve experienced some darkness.
As a photographer, I usually look towards to sun or the sky as the source of light in my photos. And this time of year, together they create some of the most glorious sunrises and sunsets. My love of which has been well documented in this space. Today’s post in particular I am sharing how a magnificent sunset has a way of making me feel like I am in the presence of the Divine. My hope is that it blesses you and brings you comfort and peace in whatever circumstances you might be facing.
…they just never get old.
I captured this beautiful sunset one evening last week, and seeing as how we’ve have more clouds than sun lately, that fiery glow in the sky was a sight for sore eyes.
If you’ve been reading my blog for very long, then you know that my love of sunsets (and sunrises) is nothing new. Case in point:
But there is something about the sunsets this time of year which makes them particularly beautiful. And sure, it can all be properly explained with science-
The vivid colors are thanks, in part, to the acute angle at which the Earth is tilted away from the sun. As light travels from the sun, its varying wavelengths get scattered throughout the atmosphere. But this time of year, that light travels even further and therefore the shorter wavelengths of light (blues and violets) are often scattered away almost completely. This phenomenon leaves behind only the longest, strongest wavelengths of light which is why we see mostly reds and oranges. Waiting for the Light ~ December 2016
Even with that knowledge though, it doesn’t make this any less magical to me. And this time of year, when the trees are bare and the gardens are dormant, I’ll take that beauty anywhere I can get it.
In his book To Light a Fire on the Earth, Bishop Robert Barron writes, “The beautiful leads to the good and the true.” He explains that an encounter with beauty has a way of inspiring us or leading us to recognize when we are in presence of something ‘transcendent and powerful’. And it is from this place of wonder that we then often find ourselves open to the Divine.
This is exactly how I feel when I see I a magnificent sunset…that I am in the presence of the Divine.
For me, winter skies like this are a gift from a good and loving God. An outpouring of Grace from that which is Goodness.
I know sometimes it’s hard to believe that…I mean to really believe in goodness. Especially when the situations and circumstances of life feel exactly the opposite. Trust me…I so totally get that.
But here is the Good News. Nowhere is God’s goodness more evident than in his Son, Jesus. The Greatest Gift. The gift of himself. In every challenge, in every heartbreak, in all the frustrations and overwhelming circumstances, we have God. With us. Emmanuel.
And so, as we approach Christmas, my wish and my prayer is that you might have an encounter with something beautiful that blesses you and invites you to experience the Goodness of God. That it would bring you comfort and peace in whatever your current circumstance might be. And fill you with the joy and gratitude of knowing that God is with you.