I am not a morning person. I think we can both agree on that. But as I look out the kitchen window, it is clear that God is. He is an obvious morning lark. He is of course a night owl and a midnight refuge. But the work of his hand overnight is more felt than witnessed. But in the mornings? The work of his hands, his very presence, is so obvious. If you slow down and wait. And watch.
It is in the early morning moments, with my eyes still heavy with slumber, with my brain still foggy with the dreams of the night before, with my senses slowly awakening, that I experience all things made new. That hope is renewed. Awakened. Restored. Standing in the quiet of the kitchen, a glimmer of gold catches my eye. It slows me down and invites me to be still. To be still in spite of the chaos of two little girls up and into their day. To be still in spite of the long list of things to do to get the day started. To be still in spite of my tendency to dive into busyness.
In the grey of the dawning day the sun’s touch ignites the tip of a leaf, a sliver of bark, a cardinal’s red wing. Slowly the world outside our window is infused with light. Golden light. A light that passes quickly. A light that if one is not still, will pass unnoticed. Its beauty lost to the day’s full, saturating light. And so I pause.
I have become mindful of these early morning moments. That the darkness creates this opportunity of beauty. That the shadows of the world make the perfect backdrop for these golden sparks. There in the wooded backyard, life begins anew. Each morning, all things new. New mercies. New grace. New beginnings. New choices to make.
And second chances. Yes, even second chances. Especially second chances. Because that’s how God works.
I stand and watch the light bring forth the new day. And as light and hope slowly bathe my world, I whisper a prayer.
dear Jesus, thank you. Thank you for mornings and for moments of stillness. Sometimes, Jesus, I act like everything is under control. That I am in control. That everything is just fine and there are no problems, no concerns, no obstacles. That there is no darkness. Thank you for reminding me that even in darkness there is beauty. And hope. And light. That you are able to create beauty from ashes. The ashes of our lives. The ashes of our relationships. The ashes of broken vows and hurting hearts. And struggling marriages. The ashes of my hurting heart and my broken relationship with David.
Thank you that you can redeem our darkness. Thank you that your light knows no darkness and that you are a God of second chances. dear Jesus, there are moments when I doubt. When I doubt your promises even though I believe they are true. When I doubt that you are big enough to address the mess we have made even though I have seen you work in my life so many times. When I doubt my feelings, my convictions, my marriage even though I believe you brought David into my life and that you gifted us to each other in your goodness and with your blessing.
It is in the morning moments like this one that I remember. That I recover the hope that can only come with you. Through you. When I abide in you. And I thank you, dear Jesus, that you are in control and that I belong to you. That David belongs to you. That he is not mine to control or change. There is incredible freedom in such surrender. And I am thankful that when I wrestle you for control, as we both know I will, Lord, you provide gentle reminders of your presence and power in these morning moments.
In a small shaft of golden light on a single leaf. In the peace that surrounds me in the chaos of the day’s beginnings. In the whisper of each breath I take.
And because of these gifts you give so freely, I am able once again to appreciate the gift you gave to me in David. And walk with you toward hope. Toward grace. Toward him.
Yes, toward him.