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Fireworks: Close Encounters

July 15, 2014

How close can you get to fireworks?

A lot closer than you’d think. At least that’s what I found out when we went to see the Derry town fireworks for the Fourth of July. The spot was right next to the park where the brave souls were lighting the fuses and sending the rockets skyward. We had a front row seat, up close and personal. And that was Up Close, let me tell you.

It had been years since I’d seen a really good fireworks display. This was better than anything I’ve ever seen. Explosions of red, blue, and green diamonds filled the entire night sky with blinding light. Gold fire rained down almost on our heads. Some rockets were shooting out long arms like glittering starfish, others burst into swarming
yellow dots as if a giant beehive were let loose in heaven. And the Grand Finale — the final two minutes when they send up everything they’ve got — turned the night into a massive Disco Ball of flashing brilliance. I still have the piece of cardboard rocket shell that hit me on the head during this Finale: a souvenir of a Close Encounter of the Awesome Kind.

I say Awesome, and it really was Awe-inspiring — I mean, you can’t help saying “Oooh and “Ahhhh” at an incredible fireworks display like that. You might feel silly, but you can’t help it. There are just some things that fill us with Awe, whether it’s the Ahhhh of fireworks or the Awwwww of a newborn baby (or the Aggghh! of an insanely fast roller coaster). Some philosophers call it the mysterium tremendum, the Awe-inspiring mystery of life that leaves us feeling amazed, humbled, and hungry for more. And the Close Encounters keep coming, whether fireworks or babies. Life loves an encore.

That’s probably why, as the song has it, “Our God is an Awesome God.” God — the ultimate Awesome Mystery — speaks to us in every Close Encounter of the Awesome Kind. God is the stage manager who keeps sending out those encores of the true, the good, the beautiful. God loves to rock our world. And like that flash of fireworks we see even after we close our eyes, God’s awesomeness remains burned on our hearts every time we encounter it.

So say it with me, and don’t feel too silly.



From → Musings

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