If darkness surrounded you, what lengths would you go to in order to see the light? How glad would you be when you finally saw it? One small town in Norway recently got to experience that joy.
Rjukan is a small town in Norway that, due to the surrounding mountains and long winters, is without direct sunlight for nearly six months. Until now, if the townspeople wanted to feel the sunlight on their faces from late September to mid-March, they had to ride a cable car up a mountain! They could see the sun hitting the mountain, and they could see the blue sky above, but they were covered in darkness.
Sam Eyde, the engineer who invented techniques for harnessing hydroelectricity that are still in use today, built Rjukan 100 years ago to harness the power of the Rjukanfossen waterfall. But Eyde had to scrap plans for diverting sunlight into the town due to cost and lack of technology. 100 years later, that dream has come true.
Three massive mirrors (or heliostats), powered by solar panels and computer programmed to track the sun, direct the light into the town square for all the residents to enjoy. And they are enjoying! Residents are coming out to enjoy the sun, improving their health and their attitudes, basking in the light.
Even former detractors are now enjoying the light. Many townspeople were against the project initially, but have had a change of mind. One woman, Anette Oien, was “deeply sceptical.” But now, she says she has found “the light I long for.”
Psalm 43:3, “O send out Your light and Your truth, let them lead me.”
There is another light that people long for that doesn’t come from mirrors on a hill. In 1890, a few years before Eyde built his town in Norway, Charles Gabriel wrote the great hymn, “Send the Light.”
“Send the light, the blessed Gospel light; Let it shine from shore to shore! Send the light, the blessed Gospel light; Let it shine forevermore!”
Many long to bask in the blessed light of the truth of the gospel. There is no greater warmth. There is no greater joy than to finally hear about God’s love and His plan for our eternal salvation. Let the light shine in…shine forevermore.