Under all the dust

Exodus 34:29-35; Luke 9:28-36

When I was in the fifth grade, I took an old shoebox from the hall closet and wrapped it in construction paper. Then I glued a triangular prism inside the box and positioned a penlight to shine toward the prism’s edge. I cut a slit in the side of the box, and my science fair project was finished. When I arrived at the cafeteria with shoebox in hand, however, I blanched at the visual spectacle. How could the simple, subtle beauty of refracted light compete with the fury of the baking soda and vinegar reactions that were erupting from papier-mâché volcanoes all around me? With sweaty palms, I directed the judges to stoop down and peek through the slit in my shoebox. The white light struck the prism and broke into every fifth grader’s mnemonic friend: ROY G. BIV (red, orange, yellow, etc.). ROY shone on the inside wall of the box, a rainbow in miniature, while I chattered away about the properties of light.


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