And the day God breathed upon your still life, stirring into being the green leaf and the flower, bud upon the branch and light
upon your soul. Here you felt the earth’s air on your petals and your leaves, and squinted into sunlight, gazing high for heaven
until you felt the gardener’s hand gently turning soil and soul, and nurturing you, bud in radiant sun.
Cascading rain absorbed in warm earth turning, heaven of fragrance. What is that sound in the wind and dazzling light?
Oh, the sweet sound of your delight in God. Sometimes it is like the sound of running laughter.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Gray Dawns

A few minutes before 7am this morning I slipped out the back door into early quiet of morning and made my way on light steps to Birch Island Park. Glancing into the morning light, overcast skies, slight breeze from some direction but not certain, drifting. I drift into the woods taking note that at 50 feet into the woods, just beyond the big sentinel of an oak tree, is precisely one mile from my home. I must remember this. Today the light is always promising more, but never quite being light enough. There is a thin cloud cover obscuring any direct sun. Is this to be a melancholy run? Thinking on this, I turn the thought over in my mind. No, No. It is not melancholy, not at all. In fact, the same Lord of all that was reigning just two days ago is reigning this day. The morning simply has a new coloring, a hue, a look and feel. It is, after all, today, and marvelous in its own wonder. Somewhere I will find His glory! I’ll just keep looking. It is always plain to the eyes once we are accustomed to the light. With this, I continue on my way along the trails and into the growing mystery and loveliness of the day.

Much of my run was in the gray light and the haze with a seeming gloom and sadness overhanging. Then the Lord used the moment to tip me back in time as I slid into memories almost forty years old. It was the early 70’s and I was living and working at a missionary training school. Most mornings I would rise early around 4am and cross the road, dropping into the deep woods beyond. There I would pray. It was just me and God. Worship came easy for my hungry heart; hours would unfold in effortless praise and intercession: the pitch black of night and predawn heaviness always yielding a full measure. Those gray dawns were so rich in blessing that sometimes there was no room left for breakfast; our magnificent Lord my feast in life.

And today was not so different from that time in that place so many years ago. Yes, it was a gray morning and there was a weightiness in the air. But, oh, the Lord was there with me along the trails. It seemed that we ran together and I shared the burdens of this day. Along the trails, my King and I, as I lay out for Him the desires and needs of my life, my friends, and others.

The woods were not twinkling bright; no, not at all. They were somber and given to serious considerations and prayer. I ran 7.15 miles in 1:45, ascending 1932 and descending 1906 as part of my taper down in recent days. I felt the pleasant rush of a good workout. Yet it seems I spent a good deal of time climbing in and out of my memories weaving here and there in the many years gone by. Just think, dear friend, He has held me secure all of these years: through careers and failures and grief and serious illness and death whispers. He has been my faithful friend. He has never failed me; never. The run today was just plain good. It was so good to run with an old friend as we shared memories of yesterdays and dreams of tomorrows. I look forward to your friendship on the trails. Let’s keep running hard and true, and there are memories in the making.