I am usually the first one up in the morning. Sometimes my husband sneaks out for work while I’m still dreaming, but on the days when there’s a choice, I’m the first one up. In all my years of marriage and mothering, I find that I like it that way, that I am better that way.
There is something about a new day that makes it hard to speak at first, and harder to talk. It’s better if I slip out of bed and into the quiet of the house where I can wrap my fingers around a warm mug and collect the thoughts that have settled in the night without having to respond to the thoughts of others.
I am not sad, or sullen—it’s just that I like to awaken to the miracle that is each new day in silence and solitude. It is my way of being in morning, of greeting the newness of each new day with the quiet acceptance that God has called me to it.
I have been in morning lately, ever since we packed up our house and headed to this new and unfamiliar place. I have been bleary-eyed and silent, not because I am sad, but because this sunrise has stolen the breath right out of me.
There is so much to say—too much, really, and I have found that I could not say any of it, not yet, because it is almost too glorious, this dawn. It is almost too much to take in and too much to speak of and too much to condense down into words.
I feel a bit like a slave-born Israelite, waking up on the first morning on the other side of the sea, surrounded by the plunder of Pharaoh’s and the keen awareness of how a child’s spilled blood set me free. In the night, angels swooped terrible-close and waters bowed before me as if I was a child of a King and the clouds caught fire and led me far from the shrieks of my captors and right into the center of His will, so close to Him, I could almost watch His footprints melt into the sand.
What can you say on a morning like that? What words are sufficient?
It is all too much, all too glorious, all too heavy with the holy because I know He is here. I know He was in the leading because sure as anything this is not what I would have chosen. This is not what I wanted, if I thought about what I wanted without really thinking about how all I really want is to be where He is.
He is here, and there is a bright star hanging over my house each night because this is my stable. This is my Bethlehem. This is where I was meant to find Him.
So I am sitting in the quiet, letting my senses awaken to something that is so rich and full and deep, I can only taste a little of it at a time. It is beautiful, all of it, and different, and it has struck me dumb because it is like seeing another side of my Father, familiar, but completely new, like seeing God in a babe or God in a bush—I have never before seen this kind of beauty, and yet, I know it.
And I know enough to know that this is the kind of thing you take off your shoes for. In this kind of place, it is best if your knees taste dirt and your tongue turns slack. Here is where you wait—silent—while the Spirit does the rushing.
In this quiet place, in my morning, I see that He is here. He is to be found in the great depths of blue sky that swim across the crumbled mountains and in the precious pools of water that gather in the hollows of the desert.
He is here, on this glorious new day, and I am in morning. I am not sad, or sullen. I’m just waking up to His presence in this place. And it is altogether too much for words.