We are morning people. Actually, being greeters of the sunrise, we are better described as ‘early morning’ people. Because the back deck of our old boat faces due east, on the weekends, for the past 4-1/2 years, we can be found sitting with our coffee and watching miracles happen.
I have been inspired, by this ancient spectacle, free for the watching, no subscription required, to compose haikus, to write blogs, to paint, to ponder life’s conundrums and … pray. I’ve experienced the transforming of the seasons noted by the track of the sun from summer solstice to winter solstice, the habits of wildlife, the ever changing and yet predictably similar outcomes. All orchestrated by Divine Design, without a hint of need for human intervention.
Sometimes, when the sky is completely cloudless, morning happens without much drama. The horizon begins to glow and remains the same steady flush of color as the sun makes its appearance. But then, other times, when the sky is crowded with clouds, something unusual happens. Depending on the volume, if it’s not a complete low-hanging gray blanket, the pre-emergent sun sends out rays of light that are then refracted into splashes, lines and billows of brilliant color. Random hues of gold, purple, orange, and pink spread out over the horizon with the Master’s touch.
Sometimes it is so profound I find myself, jaw dropped, holding my breath in amazement.
It goes without saying this never gets old - watching the art of sunrise crafted above the water that so willingly mirrors the performance. I usually grab my phone and snap a photo when I think it has reached it’s pinnacle of perfection, which is hard to gage because I usually must take a couple more pics as it just gets better. Truth is, no matter how good your camera is, nothing can record the majesty of the moment. You have to be there.
Downloading my most recent photos of one outstanding sunrise, I had a small clarion moment.
The previous morning was cloudless and, as I noted, less remarkable than the following morning when the clouds gave the sun a chance to show off. It dawned on me, pun intended, that sometimes when our lives seem to be veiled or blocked with troubles, we are so focused on the obstacles, we do not recognize the blessings facilitated by them.
I’m reminded of a couple of old sayings: every dark cloud has a silver lining and it’s always darkest just before dawn. Translated: everything that appears to be a disadvantage, if viewed with a different perspective, can be, in fact, the magnificent, unexpected beginning of a brand new day.
I recently blogged about contrast and how it better defines things for us as humans. How we need it in order to see more clearly. In this hour of global stress and unknown outcomes, I have noticed a predictable and natural uptick in reaching out to God for mercy and help and I have to wonder why it takes profound disparity to wake us up and jerk us back to our basics.
And then I wonder further - if/when things go back to some kind of normal, how long will it take for us to forget again?
Good thing God has patience we cannot fathom.
Personally, I have witnessed and experienced the most incredible, random, unexpected blessings through this Pandemic 2020. All of which stand out as light in the darkness which begs the question - if we are assured that all things come together for good for those who love the Lord, why do we need chaos to rethink how we define ‘good’ ‘bad’ and ‘blessing’?
And even so, there’s the bigger picture that’s difficult to describe - it’s not enough to recognize that something we thought was bad turns out to be a God-orchestrated good thing, we have to own up to it, acknowledge it, and be grateful, before we can experience the object and purpose of all blessings, i.e., a conscious return to humility.
Every day, the sun rises, regardless the weather. Sometimes we can’t see it for the low hanging cloud cover, but nevertheless, it comes to warm us, give us light, life and opportunity.
And sometimes, if we are looking for it, we get to witness the most amazing miracles shaped and made possible by the darkest clouds.