Counter shine

Every generous act and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights; with Him there is no variation or shadow cast by turning.

James 1:17

On a very dark evening just after dusk in the spring or right before dawn in the fall, a pyramidal glow of light can be seen on the horizon. It is often mistaken for the sunset or the soft glow of a large city.

Source:  Universe Today,
Source: Universe Today,

But if you could look closely you would see a variety of dust  particles in the plane of our planets that are “reflecting” the light from the Sun.

Another similar phenomena is called Gegenschein, German for counter shine. To see this glow you have to be in almost perfect darkness, a small circular glow will reflect directly opposite from where the Sun is on the other side. Sometimes the two will merge creating a light bridge.

According to Wikipedia:

The amount of material needed to produce the observed zodiacal light is quite small. If it were in the form of 1 mm particles, each with the same albedo (reflecting power) as Earth’s moon, each particle would be 8 km from its neighbors. The gegenschein may be because particles directly opposite the sun as seen from Earth would be in full phase.

Only in the dark can you appreciate the glow created from a 1mm dust particle.

And all together combined, the dust particles put off a sweet amount of light.

Another source in Wikipedia maintained that the dust cloud is composed of dust particles between 10 and 300 micrometers in diameter, most with mass around 150 micrograms.

As the body of Christ, what gentle glow may we emit when we are walking in obedience to Jesus Christ’s teachings? What sweet aroma follows us as we love our enemies, as we count it all joy when we face various trials, when we worship our Maker?

It was part of that glow that first drew me to Christ, like a moth to the flame. That irresistible, inner pull to Someone just outside my ken. Different gentle and difficult, awkward and compassionate moments in my life where one of His followers emitted a beam that could only be discerned through the grace of the Holy Spirit. Often, I would slam the door back shut in His face, and yet He persisted. As a dutiful lover He did not let me go.

And it strikes me, that no one would think to compare the counter shine of a small particle of dust to the full radiance of the Sun, yet, time and again, I have looked to other dust, when I should have been only looking to Him.

Isaiah 42: 5-9

5 This is what God the Lord says—
the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out,
who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it,
 who gives breath to its people,
and life to those who walk on it:
6 “I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness;
I will take hold of your hand.
I will keep you and will make you
to be a covenant for the people
and a light for the Gentiles,
7 to open eyes that are blind,
to free captives from prison
and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.

8 “I am the Lord; that is my name!
I will not yield my glory to another
or my praise to idols.
9 See, the former things have taken place,
and new things I declare;
before they spring into being
I announce them to you.”

On reflection, (smile), I’m going to keep my eyes on Him, would someone please hand me my shades?

One thought on “Counter shine

  1. Internet back. Ethan fixed it with no trouble at all. He knows what to do, like Jacob. Whiz kids on computers!

    Sarah, this is wonderful. I copied it too from that site. Beautiful photo and what you said works with it totally.


    M. McReynolds

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