We need another 'miracle of the sun'

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Column by Jim Clark

Let me tell you about my non-adventure with last Monday’s eclipse, and about what I feel is the anniversary of an even bigger sun event.

Monday is production day around here for the West Marion Messenger, the other paper we put out in this part of the county. That meant I was up at some ridiculous hour getting it done.

I finished about noon, which is early for me, and stretched out on the couch, put on The Weather Channel to watch the event.

I fell asleep.

I woke up just as it was approaching Oregon, and I was amazed at the mass emotions that were being displayed. As the sun was covered in Oregon, something that was announced decades ago, one meteorologist, someone I watch a lot, nearly broke down in tears. Then it worked its way a across the land and eventually was seen 400 miles out in the ocean from a cruise ship.. They said all the people were gathered in one part of the vessel, and I feared headlines the next day showing the ship had turned on its side. Fortunately, it didn’t happen.

I can’t imagine how anyone could have watched the eclipse and not seen the hand of God in it.

To me it’s just silly to believe that a big bang created everything in this perfectly symmetrical and predicable universe, and beyond, without the guidance of some intelligent being. It just doesn’t make sense.

Seeing the behavior of crowds at this event, which seemed to be one of awe, I am reminded of another “Miracle of the Sun” whose anniversary we celebrate in a couple of months.

In a small village called Fatima in Portugal, exactly 100 years ago, three children claimed to see the Blessed Virgin Mary on the 13th of each month. She was preaching the message of peace and morality in the world. We sure could use that message again today.

She promised a miracle on Oct. 13, 1917, and crowds of thousands gathered. The miracle became evident as the sun appeared to be spinning and plummeting toward the world. It was witnessed, as we said, by thousands who were suddenly panic-stricken, although some saw nothing. But the sun suddenly receded and everything calmed down.

Lucia, the oldest child, died in 2005. Her two cousins, Jacinta and Francisco, died during an epidemic in their early years.

Maybe what we need is another “Miracle of the Sun” on Oct. 13 of this year. Then maybe we’d all realize how much we need peace in the world, andhow our future is not necessarily in our own hands.

Jim Clark is the editor of the South Marion Citizen and West Marion Messenger.