Sunrise After Darkness: A Lenten Story

Every sunrise is unique.  Each brings joy and a sense of mystery and hope for the day.  The most spectacular sunrise, however, is just after a storm.  I know because I watch it every day.

My condo overlooks the Potomac River facing east.  The first thing I do every morning is open the curtains to watch the sun rise.  Some days the clear deep purple sky gradually lightens to cerulean blue with an ombre of violet, red, orange and yellow. At times the sun is so brilliant, the sky almost looks white.

After a storm, however, the sun plays games.  Sometimes it almost seems to have a double sunrise separated horizontally by a bank of dark clouds. Often, it backlights the clouds turning them various shades of the rainbow.  Sometimes it simply turns the fog from black to green to a pale yellow to softly iridescent grey. 

The sunrise anchors me.  It happens every day.  In England where I lived so far north that the winter sun rose shortly before noon, rolled across the southern horizon, then dropped off well before dinner time, it still rose.  The sun can always be relied upon to reappear in one presentation or another at it’s appointed time.  Even in places like Alaska where it disappears for months on end, it returns at the appointed season. 

The sunrise is like our awareness of God’s presence in our lives.  It is most dramatic and spectacular after a storm.  And, post-storm, gives reassurance that all is well.

Like the sun, God is always there.  Just as in darkness, the sun’s light is reflected by the moon, so too God’s light is reflected by the brightness of our worldly accomplishments, our daily activity and our family and friends.  When darkness enters our life though, and it always does, like the sun rising despite the storm, God’s presence shines.  It is usually in our darkest, stormiest nights that we turn toward that light.

If, however we look to the sunrise every day, the darkness, when it descends, is less oppressive because we know, with absolute conviction, the sun will rise.  It’s seeming presence and image will vary with the seasons, but it is still there.  So too, if we turn to God daily, we enter the solemnity and self-deprivation of Lent with confidence, knowing the Son will rise. 

7 comments

  1. You were a winner the day you were conceived. It is hard to lose when you are the prodigal daughter. Don’t forget to laugh Larry

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  2. Susan, your writing is wonderful and so heart-felt. It is encouraging and so beautifully descriptive. Thank you for sharing your feelings as well as your gift of words and your love of the Lord.

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  3. A touching and descriptive viewpoint that is timely and produces peace in the heart. I have never participated in Lent as a holiday, but am currently in a season of deprivation myself. Your words ring real and true, and remind me of the places in the Bible where it says the prophets lifted their eyes and the Lord provided in the midst of many circumstances that had no answer except His answer. Keep blessing us with your gifts!

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    1. God bless you, Sarah. Sometimes deprivation chooses us. Sometimes we choose it. Either way, it can be a blessing as it helps us to increase in gratitude for what we do have rather than focusing on what we do not. And gratitude, I’ve learned the hard way, brings joy. You will be in my prayers this Lent as you grow in peace, gratitude, and the joy that lingers even in dark times.

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