Chris Harrison snapped a photo of the Northern Lights in Columbia County May 10. Courtesy Chris Harrison
Chris Harrison snapped a photo of the Northern Lights in Columbia County May 10. Courtesy Chris Harrison

Cynthia Taylor column: The Northern Lights point to something good

(Disclaimer: Columns may contain opinion and those opinions belong to the author.)

Did you see the Northern Lights this weekend? Me, neither. So that makes at least two of us.  All the pictures on Facebook make it seem like everyone else was outside and looking up, to see this once in a generation event.  I was nursing bronchitis, so I took my cough medicine and went to bed early. I knew there was a chance to see the Lights, but I thought it would be too good to be true to view them this far south.

It turned out that this was one of those occasions when something was too good Not to be true.

Chris Harrison snapped a photo of the Northern Lights in Columbia County May 10. Courtesy Chris Harrison

I should have known better; after all, nearly 3,000 years ago the psalmist told us that “The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display God’s craftsmanship.” (Psalm 19:1)

This particular psalm teaches us that one of the ways we can know God is through the natural world.  How can you look at the night sky, especially one in which the Northern Lights are dancing, and not believe in a power greater than ourselves?

We have been rightly concerned about events in the world, as well as those right here at home, that want to proclaim that we are entering an age of darkness, a second Dark Age, if you will. That thought made me turn to the Ray Bradbury classic, “Something Wicked This Way Comes,” in which town librarian, Charles Halloway, fights a Mr. Dark for the soul of a child and his village.  The film version has this exchange between Halloway and Dark. 

Halloway: By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes.

Dark: Then rang the bells both loud and deep. God is not dead nor doth he sleep.

Halloway: The wrong will fail, the right prevail, with peace on Earth, goodwill to men.

Dark: It’s a thousand years to Christmas, Mr. Holloway.

Halloway: You’re wrong. It’s here, in this library tonight, and can’t be spoiled.

Good can’t be spoiled. It’s here. In a library, grocery store or walking your dog.  It can’t be spoiled, although many have tried. That’s one reason for this on-line newspaper, Augusta Good News.  Founder and publisher Charmain Brackett knew there was more to news than old journalism adage, “If it bleeds, it leads.”  There is good news and goodness all around.

For the past couple of months, I feel as if God has been showing off in order to get our attention, telling us there is more of heaven than of hell to be experienced. And the Holy One has been putting on a series of dazzling spectacles to prove that point.  First there was the eclipse, followed by the emergence of the cicadas, the likes of which won’t be seen for another 200 years.  And now we have the Not-so-Northern Lights.  It’s as if God is telling us to look up and look around at the wonder of the world and then realize that you, yourself, are a part of that wonder.  

Because we can be subject to spiritual amnesia, every once in while, God sends us signs to remind us of God’s favor towards us.  We are experiencing some of those signs right now.  Yes, the world can be a dark and frightening place.  Yes, there are wars and rumors of wars, starvation and death.  But that’s not the whole story. 

There is still love and wonder to behold.  I know.  It sounds too good to be true.  But look up tonight at the Northern Sky and see it as a sign that sometimes things are too good Not to be true.

The Rev. Dr. Cynthia Taylor, is a retired Episcopal Priest and full-time animal lover.

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One response to “Cynthia Taylor column: The Northern Lights point to something good”

  1. Ron Jones says:

    So appreciate this article by Rev, Dr Cynthia Taylor.