But when the strong morning sunlight is able to creep around those rare little cracks in the shade, I can finally see, even if it's just a hazy little bit of my surroundings. The room gradually comes to life as my eyes adjust. Sometimes I see something unexpected, such as a small child peering over the edge of my pillow. (This can still be terrifying, even after thirteen years of parenting.)
Occasionally, the first thing I see is a little note slipped under the door: "Drew and I are gonna play Wii. You can come down and say 'yes' or 'no.'" Such thoughtful children. Giving me permission.
Often, my first glimpse is something rather prosaic. Say, my husband's armpit or the legs of the ironing board. These things -- children, pits, scribbled notes -- come to me without my choice. They just are.
But some things are chosen. The things I get to choose to put before my eyes first thing in the morning.
Spurgeon writes, "Let us not see the face of man today till we have seen Jesus."
Now, I can't help seeing the face of man. There's one right next to me every morning. But I can still choose to see Jesus.
By going to His Word before I go to the words of another. Before I read the next chapter in my book, before I open my email, glance over a blog, or review facebook updates -- before I let any of it become the grid through which I view my day, I want to have His Words first.
I'll tell you. He told me Himself, just this morning:
This is what the Lord says -- Your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: "I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea."
Doesn't it make sense to go first to the One who teaches what is best? To the One who directs in the way I should go? To the One who longs to fill my days with peace and righteousness?
This is where I want to be. This is the grid through which I want to view my day. If I read no other words this day, these are the Words I need to see. The first words, the Living Word.
* * * * * *
I take my morning lap around the park. The first several verses of Colossians have become a part of me. The words come, unbidden. They swirl in my mind, "Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, . . . ." A pair of swallows rush circles around my feet, the iridescent blue of their wings flashing beauty. ". . . We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ . . ." My pace quickens. The words continue. "All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing . . . ." The swallows dance. The beauty follows. And it won't go away.