Everything is asleep. No birds sing. The trees are still. There isn’t even a hint yet of the sun stretching her arms and yawning before peeking over the distant hill. It is a moment in time filled with expectation.
With the stretch of sweltering heat we’ve been experiencing, the early air is a kiss of cool that will not last so I let it settle around me and I sit very still. I’m waiting for the first sense of something.
It comes with the tiniest puff of a morning breeze. That sweet little sensation is followed by the distant sound of a car engine starting. I feel bad for the driver who hasn’t the time to welcome a few moments of stillness. I keep my eyes on the horizon because I want to be the first to catch a glimpse of pinkish light. I want to see the beauty and have a flash of compassion for the sleepyheads who are missing this.
The beginning of a new day is not something to be taken for granted. Our human minds can never know ahead of time what will follow. Oh, we have our routines, our tasks, our plans, our responsibilities. We are so caught up in them we miss the grace filled gifts that drop unexpectedly when we least expect them.
Take this morning for instance. I could be delving early into my housework, repairing the damage of a busy week before we jump on the motorcycle in less than two hours. I could be getting a start on the laundry. I could be working on my latest manuscript that I’m always trying to find time to finish.
But if I were doing any of those things, I wouldn’t be sitting here watching the neighbor’s cat slinking along the top of a wooden fence like an Olympic gymnast on the balance beam, soundless yet alert, in search of an unsuspecting mouse in the field.
I wouldn’t notice that when the willow branches stir they dance in perfect unison to a soundless symphony.
I wouldn’t catch the beginning of light dispelling the darkness to the point where shadowy outlines begin to reveal themselves and it’s like God is creating the earth again as I watch.
I wouldn’t have the satisfaction of laughing to myself and telling the first golden rays of sun, “Ha – I win the who-got-up-first contest.”
In a few minutes I will see dust and hear traffic and feel heat. In a few minutes I’ll be busy. In a few minutes my plans and routine will begin to be rerouted by the unexpected turns of the day. In a few minutes I’ll have to have conversations, make decisions, get exasperated, and keep moving forward.
But for these few moments the world is perfect. Every morning that I get the chance to do this I think it must be like resurrection morning when Jesus stood expectantly, waiting for the weeping world to wake so He could reveal Himself as the miracle of all miracles. I bet He watched shadows fade, saw the sun wake, felt the breeze stir, listened for the sound of approaching feet and inhaled the beauty of the moment knowing He would soon be busy with His people and His message.
Precious Lord, this morning my heart overflows with gratitude for this tiny moment in time when You come to me to resurrect a heart that has been beaten down by the pressures of living. I appreciate your taking the time to lift Your hand and point out the beauty of stillness. Remind me today in the valley of my life that the mountaintop awaits on the other side of the day, here on my porch just before sunrise. Amen
His coming is as brilliant as the sunrise. Rays of light flash from his hands, where his awesome power is hidden. Habakkuk 3:4