looking through me

Tag: morning

reservoir of beauty

A blend of highlighters and jewel-toned markers swirled across the clouds. I soaked in the brilliance and secreted it away in my reservoir of beauty. It’s the place I dip into when I feel pressed too hard, when life is loud and frenzied, when my mind refuses to settle. I draw on memories of beauty to calm me and to renew my energy.

But as I studied the sunrise I realized the ones I love best occur not in stillness but in tumult. When the sky is filled with the turbulent jumble of moisture and dust particles and atmospheric debris, that’s when clouds appear. That’s the backdrop on which glory paints.

The stunning colors can’t occur without the chaos. Were the sky unblemished, I wouldn’t notice the sunrise at all. The heavens would lighten without a riot of color. The ethereal interlopers and impurities become the canvases absorbing and refracting the light that stills my soul.

Emptiness has limited capacity for beauty. I need margin and rest and some control over the calendar of expectations. Yet it’s in the crowded spaces of competing inputs, in the chaos—it’s in community—that I find so many of the soul-sustaining hues staining life with grace. My reserves are filled in solitude, but so too are they replenished in the tangle of relationship as we absorb, reflect and refract Light together.

It dawns on me how deep and wide and varied are the sources filling my well of beauty. And the realization casts new light on the day.


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sunrise faithfulness

I leave for work in darkness. Some days the sun begins peeking over the horizon along the drive. I look for it every morning because the sunrise gives me hope. It paints beauty with wild abandon and no concern for its short duration. It helps me find my place in the day. It reminds me—in the best way—how small and inconsequential I am.

This morning I didn’t expect to see it. Layers of clouds hung thick and low. I doubted the sun could crack them before I was tucked away in my windowless cubicle, so I wasn’t even looking for it.

And then an inky purple-pink smudge snaking along the top of the mountains caught my eye. Nothing more than a sliver of color cleaved distant mountains from dense clouds.

When the freeway dipped lower, I lost the sunrise behind suburbia. But I wasn’t the only one missing it. Others were still asleep or inside buildings or driving a different direction or not elevated enough over their surroundings to see it, or they simply weren’t looking for it.

Yet whether anyone saw it or not—whether I saw it or not—the sun still rose. It’s what the sun does.

At that moment of reveling in the steadfastness of the sunrise I drove into a fog bank. The glimpse of glory was gone. All color was stripped away . . . except it wasn’t. I couldn’t see it anymore, but the sunrise was as real that moment as it had been the moment before when my eyes could perceive it.

Like God’s faithfulness. On the darkest, cloudiest day when my expectations bottom out, God is faithful. On the brightest, clearest day when hope sings, God is faithful.

Whether I see it or not. Whether I acknowledge it or not. Whether my eyes are turned inward or Son-ward. Whether I wait with expectancy or turn my back. God is faithful.


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