Some days run hard together and the sun seems to disappear even while it shines bright. Which is why my husband showed up last week, took my hand and said, “Let’s go on a mini-vacation.”
We spent the night at a hotel in Old Forge, one that sat right on the water where we could watch the last shades of pink slide out of sight into the ripples spread by the wind. After the light was gone, I took a long hot bath and prayed that muffled tears wouldn’t wake my husband.
They were happy tears. Sort of.
The kind that comes and you’re fine, just sad, but okay and happy? Of course. You’re blessed and provided for and loved… and hurting. All at once and together and the same.
He was awake when I slipped into bed. “Read to me,” he said, so I clicked on the light and reached for my Bible and read the words I had underlined so many times.
Oh, Israel, put your hope in the Lord,
for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption.
“Where is that found?” he asks.
“Psalm 130,” I say, turning the page for him to see.
“Read the whole chapter to me,” and he settles back against the pillow.
So I read and the words drift off me and float away. He sleeps at the sound of my voice and I quietly close the book and click out the light.
The clock reads 5am when I open my eyes again. My husband is snoring and sleep has evaporated so I slide from the covers and slip into a skirt. It is this bright silly thing that made me smile when I bought it, the way the stripes of color seem to swirl when I walk.
A jacket over my shoulders and I step outside to wander. Frost painted the ground, thicker as I neared the water’s edge. I stepped onto the dock and almost slipped, the icy whiteness stealing traction. Two steps, three steps, a cloud breaks and the sun makes me blink. I stand there, quiet, watching the frost melt away.
A verse comes to mind, the one that I paused at the night before, wondering why such a strange line was repeated,
My soul waits for the Lord,
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning. Ps. 130:6
The last bit of frost is melting, the sun is so warm it is burning a pattern on my face. It comes, you know. The morning comes. And the watchmen, they know that morning will arrive. Light will break through and darkness will flee and morning always comes.
No matter how strong the powers of darkness seem, the Kingdom of God is advancing.
I wait with assurance. With knowledge. With the power of knowing that the darkness will leave. Like watchmen wait for the morning, I wait.
I hear the click of a camera shutter and spin around to see my husband standing on the balcony with my camera in his hands. “You look like your Mama,” he says, voice echoing across the silent water. I wrap my arms around me and call for him to come. So he leaves the warmth of the room and visits the coolness of morning.
We walk on the boardwalk around the edge of the water and talk about mornings and Christ’s return and hope that is unchanging, that never dies, that burns deep and grows us upward.
Walking through the darkness of winter can feel like death at times, but the dormant season is needed to produce a harvest. Eventually morning light will touch the fertile ground and life will spring forth.
So we journey on, waiting expectantly, because it always comes. The morning always comes.