The Backstory

On Monday, April 8th, I had the unbelievable opportunity to view the total solar eclipse. Since then, my mind has been reeling.

If you don’t know what a total solar eclipse is, it’s a period where the moon entirely eclipses the sun, blocking out its light. While several solar and lunar eclipses happen over our lifetimes, total solar eclipses are far rarer. On average, they happen somewhere on the planet about once every 18 months. (Note: there are also annular eclipses that occur throughout the year in various parts of the world, but most of these are not total solar eclipses.)

This year’s eclipse was titled the Great North American Eclipse because it spanned Mexico, the USA, and Canada — an incredibly rare feat. The next time North America will see a total solar eclipse will be twenty years from now, in 2044 and 2045.

Several people who didn’t travel to the path of totality have asked me what the experience was like, and well, I have a lot to say on the matter.

To begin with, when I heard we would have a total solar eclipse, I was relatively indifferent. I’ve seen eclipses (both lunar and solar) in the past, so I thought, “What’s the big deal?” But as we got closer to April, I discovered this was a lot bigger deal than I realized. In fact, the last time a total solar eclipse came through our province (Ontario) was 45 years ago, in 1979. To see it, I would have had to drive about 18 hours north to Kenora, Ontario, and then taken a flight another 300km north. So, I was starting to understand how rare this event was.

I also have a couple of friends who had witnessed these eclipses before and described it as a life-changing experience. As I began to do more research, it became increasingly evident that I needed to see this.

In January, a friend from my church named David Cross asked if I would be willing to co-host an eclipse viewing event, which I graciously accepted. As the event drew closer, I started watching videos of the total eclipse, along with people’s experiences. One of the things that stood out to me was the commentary from people who had witnessed totality versus people who were just outside the path of totality (i.e., 99.9% totality). It was literally a night and day difference in experiences.

People outside of totality generally commented that it was “a neat experience. It got pretty dark, and the shadows were cool.” The reaction was relatively muted. On the contrary, most of the people who ventured to the path of totality were lost for words to describe their experience. “Unreal,” “Just wow,” “I can’t believe that just happened,” and “I have no words” were expressions that I heard.

It just so happens that the city we live in (London, Ontario, Canada) is about 30 minutes outside the path of totality. Our city was slated for 99.7% coverage, but not 100%.

2024 Eclipse Totality Map - London, Ontario (

So, as the event got closer, I started pressing people as best I could (without hounding them) that they needed to do everything they could to get to the path of totality. On one of my social media accounts, I posted the following:

While I’ve never seen a total solar eclipse — based on everything I’ve watched and read, almost every person has said it’s by far the most amazing thing they’ve ever seen in their lifetime. Those are strong words. So, if you’re on the fence about seeing it (and you have the ability to get to the path of totality), consider that. A marvelous display of God’s orderly universe will be on display.

I kept envisioning people who would hear amazing stories the following day and would be filled with regret for not having made the drive.

(Side note: If you’re reading this and you’re one of those people who could have made the trip but didn’t, my goal is not to make you feel more regret. So please forgive me in advance. I have a specific purpose in writing this long post, so I hope you’ll keep reading.)

Anyway, the day of April 8th finally arrived, and I admittedly had a bit of anxiety about the whole thing. The reason for my anxiousness was that approximately 100 people signed up for our event, and the weather was tumultuous. Hundreds of thousands of people were camped out a couple of hours away at Niagara Falls and Fort Erie, and it was overcast there. We planned to gather at Port Bruce, about a 45-minute drive from London, but the cloud cover forecast from different weather centers was mixed.

With the eclipse set to begin around 2:00 p.m. (totality at 3:15 p.m.), we still had some time. Finally, around 12 noon, the Lord graciously opened up the skies, and the cloud cover started to move out. I sent a note to everyone letting them know several locations that were looking good. Our family (along with several others) drove about 45 minutes southwest to Port Glasgow, where totality would last for 1 minute and 53 seconds.

2024 Eclipse Weather - London, Ontario (

My Experience

OK, now that we’ve got the backstory out of the way, let me share my experience of the whole thing.

Many of you know me as a person who loves photographing God’s glory. And, indeed, I am that person. However, a friend/family member of mine — Wayne Jeschke, an excellent Alberta-based photographer who took some epic photos of the 2017 eclipse — gave me a critical piece of advice that stuck in my mind. He said:

The tip that I would pass on is not to let photographing the eclipse prevent you from taking at least some time to observe it. This almost happened to me. It will seem to go by in a flash!

Photo by Wayne Jeschke

Photo (above) by Wayne Jeschke from the 2017 eclipse (as seen in Glimpse of Infinity email from 01/19/2024)

As I experienced, his words were undeniably accurate.

The first part of the eclipse was a very casual atmosphere. The moon slowly crept over the sun, and we observed it with our solar glasses about every 10 minutes or so. It was really neat to see. The closer we got to the big moment, we noticed a drop in temperature, and it got darker.

As the moment of totality approached, I launched my drone over Lake Erie. I had all of my camera gear with me, including a 1000mm zoom lens, prepped and ready to go.

As the sun slowly pushed behind the moon, there was a flash of light, and then the sun disappeared, leaving a faint glow behind it. Planets appeared out of nowhere, and the entire 360-degree landscape looked as though the sun were setting.

The crowd of about 500+ audibly gasped and started cheering. “Oh, my goodness. It is literally a ring! … What is happening right now? … I can’t believe it!” One of the people we were with shouted, “This is the best day of my life.”

People took off their solar glasses and stood there in absolute amazement. Small, pink solar filaments could be faintly seen glowing from behind the moon. The atmosphere was an eerie glow like nothing I’d ever seen.

Honestly, I blanked.

I don’t know exactly what happened during that 1 minute and 53 seconds, but it was emotional. I somehow managed to capture a photo on my drone and a couple of quick photos on my camera, but I spent the majority of my time trying to comprehend the majestic wonder that was happening before our eyes. In fact, I completely forgot to even pick up my 1000mm lens. I was caught up in the moment.

One minute and 53 seconds later, it was over. It felt like about 15 seconds. The sun’s light pierced through the other side of the moon, creating a diamond-ring-like effect, and we were immediately bombarded with light, having to put on our solar eyewear again.

Just like that, the total solar eclipse had come and gone. God had revealed to us a small glimpse of His glory, for which I am incredibly grateful.

Thankfully, a couple of friends got some epic photos.

Photo by Ken Bignell

Photo (above) by Ken Bignell from April 8, 2024 eclipse

Photo by Chelle Catherine

Photo (above) by Chelle Catherine from April 8, 2024 eclipse

My Takeaways

I’ve had a few days to ponder the one minute and 53 seconds I experienced on April 8th, and I’d like to leave you with some of my personal takeaways.

1. Filled with awe.

I’ve had the privilege of experiencing many wondrous things in my life. As far as the universe and weather phenomena go, I’ve seen beautiful aurora borealis displays, epic light pillar formations, and breathtaking deep space wonders. What I saw on April 8th exceeds them all. It was that wonderful.

I had a high level of awe and reverence for God coming into April 8th. Following the eclipse, it went up another level.

Think about it — humankind thinks it can do anything if it puts its mind to it. Yet, everyone knew to the second where and when the eclipse would be. There is nothing a person can do to misalign it or put it on hold. You can’t reschedule it or put it off until it’s more convenient for you. God has sovereignly made it so, and so it will be — according to the perfect path that He has assigned it.

2. An orderly universe created by the Intelligent Designer.

To see the moon perfectly aligned over the sun is an absolute miracle of God in a perfect, orderly universe. Dr. Jason Lisle writes in Taking Back Astronomy:

The sun is about 400 times more distant than the moon. Remarkably, it is also 400 times larger. So, it has the same angular size as the moon — meaning it appears the same size and covers the same portion of the sky. It is interesting that God made both of the “great lights” the same angular size — and far larger (in angle) than any of the other celestial objects. There is no naturalistic reason why the sun and moon would be at just the right distances to have the same apparent size as seen from earth. As far as we know, the earth is the only planet for which this is the case.

As I was leaving Port Glasgow, the following thought came to my mind: If I were an atheist or had any inclination that all of this evolved starting from a random set of circumstances, I’d be walking out of there with about 10,000 questions. It takes an incredible amount of faith to be an atheist.

3. A glimpse of wonder.

In Exodus 33:18-23, we read:

Moses said, “Please show me your glory.” And [God] said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The Lord.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.” And the Lord said, “Behold, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock, and while my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back, but my face shall not be seen.”

As I think back to the eclipse, there wasn’t a moment leading up to totality that we could look at the sun without eye protection. But for one minute and 53 seconds, God covered up the sun with a space rock so that we could see things we’d never see. He is sovereign over all creation, including the universe. It just blows my mind to think that God would allow us to see such wonder in our time here on earth. And then it’s even more impressive as we reflect on Romans 8:18:

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

That small glimpse of wonder that God showed us was like the equivalent of a piece of sand on an infinitely long seashore compared to the glory coming in eternity for those who put their faith in Jesus.

God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all. — 1 John 1:5b (NIV)

4. God invites us into His presence.

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? — Psalm 8:3-4 (NIV)

As David Cross mentioned in the video we prepared before the eclipse, Buzz Aldrin read that Psalm from the Apollo spacecraft while returning from the historic first landing on the moon.

It’s absolutely remarkable that God cares for us the way He does. It’s even more astonishing to think that He sent His one and only Son to Earth to die for our sins so that we could spend eternity in God’s presence.

Jesus tells us that God so loved the world, that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). He also tells us that there’s no other way to heaven except by putting your faith in Jesus (John 14:6).

This leads me to my last takeaway.

The day after the eclipse was precisely how I thought it would be. As I noted previously, I had envisioned people would hear amazing stories the following day and would be filled with regret for not having made the drive. Well, that’s exactly what happened. People I spoke to in London (99.7% totality) that could have driven to the path of totality but chose not to used words and phrases like “neat,” “cool,” and “It got kind of dark.”

Had they made the short drive to totality, they would have seen something astounding. In all honesty, I felt a deep sadness that I didn’t expect to feel. I felt for all those who had the opportunity to drive to see something that most people never get to see in their lifetime and yet chose not to.

(Important sidenote: If you were one of these people, please understand that I’m not saying this to make you feel worse; I’m simply trying to journal my emotions. I also recognize that many people could not go due to jobs, appointments, and other significant situations. I know several people who were in that boat. I’m sharing this thought for a specific reason, which I’ll get to now.)

This sadness I felt immediately drew my mind to Luke 14:16-24, which reads:

Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’ Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’ Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’

The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’ ‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’ “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.’”

Listen, if you missed the total solar eclipse, no big deal. But there’s a day coming when you’re going to die. As a good friend of mine (Tom Ward) says, “We’re all at the mercy of a world where no one gets out alive.” And right now, you have the choice — an invitation to the banquet that Jesus is speaking about, which is to say — do you want to spend eternity with God or not?

If you do, then put your trust and faith in Jesus. He will never leave you or forsake you. You’ll live in eternity and see far more wondrous things than the total solar eclipse. And if you don’t, well, that is your choice — one you will have to live and die with. But know this: It is the Lord who created the universe. He turns darkness into morning and day into night. He draws up water from the oceans and pours it down as rain on the land. The Lord is his name (Amos 5:8). By Him, all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities — all things were created through Him and for Him (Colossians 1:16).

The decision is yours. The invitation is open. I really hope you come.


About This Site

My name is Ray Majoran; I love God and enjoy inspiring people through photography and writing. I find it impossible to look through the lens of a camera and think to myself, “Wow… that happened by chance!” Have a look around; if you have any questions, shoot me a note! Every morning, I send an email featuring photos that I've taken from around the world, along with a Scripture passage and prayer. If you'd like to receive these emails, please feel free to subscribe.

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Dear Friends, Family, Neighbors, World...If you were dying and you had one last chance to talk with the people that matter most to you, what would you say? If everything was on the line, and nothing was left on the table, what wisdom would you impart? My name is Ray Majoran, and this book is my last lecture.

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Do we see the amazing beauty in the things that God has created, the people He's brought into our lives, the situations He's put us in? Or do we live in a bubble, oblivious to His amazing wonder happening all around us? unOblivious is a 160-page photo-essay that helps answer that question.

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