Today, attention is turned upwards toward the solar eclipse. The shadow will arc from Oregon to South Carolina like the mark of a foot swept through wet sand, to disappear in moments.

Since I do not live along the path of totality, I turned on NASA’s live stream. I felt a little envious of my friends who traveled down to South Carolina for the event. It’s probably not quite the same experience folding laundry in front of my TV. But I am enjoying the views of different places in the country getting ready to marvel at the spectacle.

The coverage includes a lot of filler (solar eclipse safety glasses, people!) and commentary. One broadcaster called the exact geometry required for earth to experience a total solar eclipse an “amazing cosmic coincidence.”

As a writer and musician, I think I would be a little miffed if someone commented on a well-turned phrase or melody that way. “What a perfect metaphor to express that idea! How lucky I am that this book coincidentally said that!” Or “That singer’s interpretation elevated that moment in the music. What a fortunate happenstance that her vocal cords and breath combined like that right there!”

Art is a complex integration of thought, heart, craft, and inspiration. If this is true for human artists, made in the image of God, then how much more for the Creator?

I’m not a scientist. I don’t pretend to know even a fraction of what an astronomer might know about today’s event. But I am a tiny trickle in the river that is humanity’s art endeavor. I know that artists make choices and have reasons.

What is God’s reason for arranging our moon and sun in the precise ratio and distance that allows for a total solar eclipse? I believe that part of the reason is that God, as an artist, wanted to give us a beautiful, awe-inspiring community experience.

“The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.” Psalms‬ ‭19:1‬ ‭