The sun still sleeps, the sky is ink-black above us as I kiss him goodbye for the day, step into cold mudroom, secure this displaced farmhouse’s old red door behind him. He has been up for over an hour already, has set his clock to the wee hours of morning’s beginning to take the time to sit, read, devote time to a life-long love affair that I, his wife, support and rejoice in. This is the early-morning rendez–Vous, the first meeting of the day, the dedication that begins the day anew. This is the quiet time, the sacred in the ordinary, the habit of love. Time spent reading this Book, time spent meeting Wisdom at her table, time spent with the Word that hovered over water’s mirrored surface at very beginning of the very first day. He has risen early to meet with God.
The door secure, I watch him leave like a child spying on the object of her affection, peer out between wooden window slats and watch him open the gate, head to the garage. I wave and he waves, a private morning ritual. The open slat I peer through lets a shaft of kitchen-light into the darkness of outside, a slash of gold piercing the early-morning gloom and I cherish that light, because it is love. Love that strikes a glow into the darkness, love that climbs with the sun (the Son) over the dark hulk of mountains and breaks golden into the valley, banishing the night.
Before the dawn, when all is cold and dark, I pour beans in the hopper, grind and press, heat water in my favorite cup. I have a promise to keep, a ritual to prepare for, a meeting in the quiet before the world wakes up. I need to need this more than coffee, I need what wakes my soul. I need to want this more than food, more than comfort, more than praise and acceptance, more than money or shelter. This Book, these words, are nourishment enough. My flesh wants sleep, my flesh wants a hundred other things that will not fill me up. But He is waiting, and I go.
I read the words like a thirsty woman drinks water, like a glutton eats sweets. Some days I read them like medicine, some days they startle me by being new despite the number of times I have read them. Some days I read them with half my brain and the other half continues on its own way, thinking of banalities and to-do lists and other things less presentable. He forgives. Some days start late and get interrupted and I realize, the sun having burned off all dew and the day having raveled like a knotted shoelace that I have forgotten, left my meeting un-attended and the Book lies unopened in it’s gum-wood drawer. Waiting. He offers Grace. I have gone whole months of rebellious sleeping-in, time wasting and procrastination, reading a few short verses with causal flippancy. He gently nudges, reminds, calls me back.
I sip hot blackness and read through the cold blackness outside, embrace the warm shaft of light that pierces the darkness of inside and finds the empty space that was meant for Him alone. Over the mountains comes the slightest sliver of gold, which widens into an arch of crimson and copper as the light outside turns from black to gray, and the gray develops into blue and for a moment, the black limbs of bare trees etch like India ink blown with a straw onto a luminous blue page. The sun has risen, the Son has risen and I have the privilege of a new day ahead of me. I think of Husband and know we are fed from the same spring, that this water is what keeps us together and what blesses us, what keeps this almost 14 years of marriage fresh and refreshing and sustains our love and our family. Filled, I listen for the sound of small feet descending narrow, code-defying farmhouse stairs. I hear, over the sound of city traffic, a bird’s morning song. I see the clouds turn now from gold to white, the sky above is almost light and I thank the Word, the Wisdom that was there before the world was created, that He would take the time to meet with me, to care that I was there.
In what ways do you strengthen your Walk with Him? Share your story and read others at Ann Voskamp’s beautiful blog, Holy Experience.