Blemishes aren’t something we put out on full display, they are something we hide. We don’t want anyone to know we’ve been hurt, that we are damaged, that we are not perfect.

On August 21, the view of the Sun’s corona is only part of the breathtaking show.

In the moments before and after totality, viewers will be treated to a solar effect known as the “diamond ring.” At these moments, just as the corona of the Sun comes into view, the entire surface of the Sun is blocked except for one final burst of light on the trailing edge of the eclipse leading into totality (and again on the leading edge of the eclipse leading out of totality). This final bursts of light creates the illusion of a sparkling diamond set on a golden ring, hence the name.

Layers of gas which embody the air we breathe also shield us from cosmic bombardment. Each night, the earth is pummeled by over 5,000 bits of space debris. Some are as small as a household appliance. Others may be as large as a small automobile. Throughout the course of history, some have been much larger.

As these objects enter our atmosphere, many will disintegrate as the gasses around them ignite due to friction. Others glance off the side of our atmosphere and bounce harmlessly back into space. In fact, of the 5,000 asteroids that come into contact with the earth each day, because of the atmosphere only a handful will make it to the ground.

Some of you wish you had an atmosphere. Some protective layer to shield you from bombardment. Something that might burn up the bullets, something to deflect the darts. But the hits keep coming, the scars are mounting and you don’t know why or what good can actually come from it.

We are like the moon. We have no atmosphere. When the moon finds itself in the path of a celestial object, there is nothing to prevent the crash or resulting crater. It hits with the full force of its momentum and the pull of gravity. The result is millions of scars and blemishes dotting the surface. And it is these imperfections lying along the lim of the Moon that create the breath taking image of a diamond ring.

As the Moon transits in front of the Sun, what viewers actually witness just before totality is the corona bursting through a blemish along the trailing edge of the Moon. We are essentially watching a sunrise through a lunar scar. No blemish, no beauty.

We may not enjoy the bombardment of life, but the truth is that the blemishes in our life are precisely condition to create a spectacle of wonder. A moment when the blaring rays of God’s grace and provision can burst through some crater in our past. A breathtaking moment that would not exist without the blemishes and scars life brings us.

When the Apostle Paul lamented over a “blemish” in his life, God responded with this truth; “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” In response, Paul determined to let his blemishes shine; “Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

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