The first moment of one day in the world, in the place where every day begins.
Is a picture really worth a thousand words? This photo was worth a LOT more than that! Since August of 2015 I have used this photo you see here as my phone wallpaper, my background screen, and a variety of our places so that I can see it often.
This image, with no Photoshop or editing whatsoever, was taken on my I-Phone 6, against a double-paned, plexi-glass window from the galley of a Delta Airlines 757 Airbus. I was flying from Tokyo to back to the states after a successful mission trip and teaching assignment at a university Christian student center in Bangkok, Thailand. I was 33,000 feet over the Pacific Ocean headed east. Soon I heard the pilot say over the speaker system that if anybody was interested there was a photo opportunity out the window, as it was now just about midnight over the International Date Line. I darted up from my seat, scooted back to the galley from a very crowded isle of sleeping passengers to where I knew there was a window and peered out to see what I could see.
The International Date Line is an internationally accepted demarcation on the surface of Earth, running between the South Pole and North Pole and serving as the boundary between one calendar day and the next. It passes through the Pacific Ocean, roughly following the 180° line of longitude and deviating to pass around some territories and island groups. Crossing the date line eastbound decreases the date by one day or 24 hours.
It’s not really a great quality photo, as most photographers measure quality. It appears to be a bit out of focus, has some blemishes, and sun spots on the image, and generally what appears to be a poorly framed picture. But there is so much more to this story behind this photograph. Then it dawned on me, (ha ha – no pun intended… OK, it was intended), I realized that this sunrise was the very first moment of this day in the history of the world. As I gazed into the sunrise on the water below, I wondered what was in store for the people of earth on this day that God granted us all to live. Who was to be born, and who would die by the days end? I thought of the struggles and pain that so many around the world suffered every day. As a Christian, I pondered of the joy of life in the precious son of God, Jesus. I thought about my own precious wife, children and grandchildren and prayed that God would protect them all to live to see the close of this day. While this is not a good photo per se, it had seven billion stories waiting to be lived out that day!