I've started a new morning habit. I don't know how long I can keep it going, but I get up at 6:00, make my 'coffee', and I sit by my bedroom window in the dark to watch the sun come up.
This time of day used to be my Bible study time, and I'd often rush to read through my daily pile of readings before I got my morning call from Alicia (who calls as she drives to work each day). I realized that I wasn't really spending any time with God -- I was just reading and praying pretty rotely.
So now I sit and try to be still. It takes a while. At first my mind is full of yesterday's activities and mistakes -- what I should have done differently, what I didn't complete, what I wish I'd said or not said. Then I start listing my 'gottas' -- things to do today. But slowly I let go of those things and I just sit. I quiet my mind and I just watch expectantly, hoping to see the first signs of light, wondering what colors will show up as the morning breaks through.
Some days are awash with color -- the darkness slowly brightens in shades of blue until lavender and pink streaks show. Others are just subtle variations of gray with no distinguishing marks at all. Some days the sunrise is clearly over. The sky is blue, the world is light, and the day has started. Other days you don't really know for sure if the world has waken. The gray isn't really bright enough for shadows to appear, but you realize that it doesn't seem to be getting any brighter and there definitely isn't going to be any fanfare.
It occurred to me today as I was smiling at the shades of pink and orange of the lightening sky that today's sunrise was really the same as yesterday's, even though yesterday was covered in clouds. I just wasn't able to appreciate it from the perspective of my window. Someone on the other side of the cloud cover saw it just fine!
Isn't that how God's love is? It's always there for us, but we often don't see it. It's hidden away by the woes and difficulties of the world. But behind the financial problems, the doctor's diagnosis, the betrayal of friends, and the general busyness of our lives, he is always there letting his love shine with all the colors we could imagine. We just have to change our perspective.