Friday, May 26, 2017

Morning Song

This morning I awoke at 530am. It is Friday.

As the dog began to bark I did not hope that he would relinquish the call for me or anyone from upstairs, but I went down to greet him and begin the morning. In late May the morning is already breaking into the day before 6am, but in the hotel or the rental house I would have wished it dark.

Now I am ready to start. The downstairs are bright and clean and I have a client at 9am and now I can have an hour with the dog and the sunrise and raisin bran and counterculture coffee and filtered water from the new fridge. Everything is new and I am stirred no less than the coffee run through the french press.

The morning has broken and I am entering into new light. I am ready for new things. I am not afraid. I am ready to face the day. I am ready to greet children and welcome their commentary on the changes to their surroundings. Some change comes with criticism at first. Let it come. It's all part of their stirring, the process of adjusting to a new wineskin. Their home is new, but they were paradoxically once in it, but in it in a different skin. Before it was yellow on the outside and there were carpets upstairs. There were two sofas in the living room and no doors on the front office. The back deck was rougher and darker and now it is lighter and smoother. The berm was not cut back showing the fence and lost soccer and kickballs on the other side where there was once a thick brush. The prayer wall has been reconfigured in a low long line beside the house. Things are similar, yet decidedly different. How does all of that feel to a nine, or an eleven, or a thirteen year old? I don't really know. It feels great to an almost 42 year old. My birthday will not come (June 18) with me a sojourner. Instead, I will awake here, stirred, rested and ready to listen to the day.

With a word, the Lord stirs me in the morning; 
in the morning, he stirs my ear to hear like a disciple.

This word is written on a scroll held by the prophet Isaiah on an icon I have treasured for years. I wrote the words on the bare floor of my bedroom before the hardwood covered it up, sometime in the Spring or late Winter of 2017. But the words are still under there. The words are hermetically protected by the hardwood. I even saw them after the hardwood was first laid, because those floors had to be ripped up and put down again. So I know they rest protected. By the grace of God, I'll never look on them again. But they still speak to me. I can still hear them. I can still follow their commands -- to get up in the morning, to stir, to hear well, because disciples hear for action, contemplation, for wisdom. I often tell coaching clients that it sometimes takes saying something three or four times to figure out what you really think and feel about a subject. Do I believe this and both sides of it. Sometimes you have to say it three or four times to figure out what you really think. Sometimes you have to hear three or four times to figure out what you really think. In a hurried world, it takes time to hear and say things three or four times. Better to get it right and hear and speak like a disciple.

Kristen took a picture of each of our prayers and scriptures written on the floors of the rooms where we sleep during construction. Each of us received a framed picture of the words that we wrote. Each little gift was placed on our beds on the day we moved in. She truly is a great giver of gifts. Mine are the words above and once more:

With a word, the Lord stirs me in the morning; 
in the morning, he stirs my ear to hear like a disciple.

Norman Maclean closes A River Runs Through It with "under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs." My words are under the floor, just a few feet away from where my head rests each night and lifts each morning. I can't see the words anymore, but I trust that they are still there.
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