Waiting....listening in the dark. That dark that comes just before dawn, between dreams and a new day, when all pauses. I wrap myself up in stillness, reluctant to move...into the day. The cats seem equally reluctant to move as they remain tightly curled up at the end of the bend. But Hank gets up from one bed and moves to another, as the beds lie empty now. The children are gone away, my house being now all stilled.
There are no little ones to prepare breakfast for; no lesson plans; no interruptions of little feet.
As I wait for the light to creep in, I am really waiting for God, turning aside selfish thoughts, consuming thoughts, silly thoughts. My mind lies empty. Waiting...
There will be more poignant and thoughtful moments throughout the day but as the hours hurry on, things will become a blur and I will stop to wonder, "Are you still there God?"
In the stillness, the Psalmist speaks:
Harken to my speech O Lord,
attend to my utterance.
Listen well to my voice crying out my King and my God,
for to you my prayer.
Lord in the morning you hear my voice
in the morning I lay it before you and wait...
Let all who shelter in you rejoice.
Let them sing gladly forever-protect them.
The house gently stirs as the light moves and mingles with darkness outside my window and joy slowly creeps in.
outside awakens to a bleak dull sky and we feel the greys and the browns of winter. In the dimly lit barn loft, I run my hand over the bales of hay, feeling and searching for the course prickly stems of hay to feed the sheep their breakfast. I am saving the soft bales of hay that lie hidden, for the older sheep with their aging teeth and Tristan who struggles to eat and gets the stems caught in his mouth. In the dark, I make my selection and throw the bale down the stairs.
Walking back from the barn, the cold frozen ground and the stillness of this early winter morning, remind me that I need Him. And He is here...hidden, quiet. He hides beneath our selfish thoughts, passions, appetites and obsessions... busyness. But my faith is born from this great sense of need and it is stronger than all the clutter of Christmas...all the clutter of our lives.
And in the morning....He hears my voice. I lay it before Him and wait. It is my gift.