Nothing is more motivating to me to get outside in the morning than the anticipation of a gorgeous sunrise. I time my run or walk to be just at the right place at the just the right time. Most of my photos don’t begin to reflect the actual beauty of the sunrise, or match the other photos posted by my more talented friends, but when I watch the colors unfold all around me, I feel like I am participating in the work of God. It is sacred space.
“The world is charged with the grandeur of God.” (Gerard Manley Hopkins) This is the reminder in my devotional this week, called Sacred Space. It goes on to invite me to “dwell for a moment on the presence of God around me, in every part of my body, and deep within my being.” We can exchange “presence” in this thought with Hopkins word, “grandeur.” The grandeur of the sunrise, new every morning is also alive in us who believe, giving us hope, comfort, and the capacity to shine his love to others.
We don’t see the sunrise every morning. Sometimes it is cloudy and dark gray turns to light gray in our northwest skies. But it does not overcome the grandeur of God. Neither do the gray skies of our broken lives overcome the grandeur of His presence. His presence is not always big and boisterous as the word grandeur would suggest; He is gentle enough to enter our broken spaces and lovingly fill them with his healing presence.
As I write this, I am well aware of the gray that people close to me are experiencing. Aggressive cancer that seems to scoff at treatment. Home displaced due to fire or stages of life. Relationships hanging by a string. When we don’t know what the day or week or months ahead will hold, we desperately need to know that this morning, every morning, God’s mercies are new. Around us and in us.
The rising of the sun is a reminder of that promise.