I slip from bed and dress quickly in the dark, tiptoe down the stairs, pour some coffee to go, and walk into the Florida dark. I hurry to the sandy path that winds into the thick brush, guided by the sound of the sea.
I never tire of the sight of that ocean stretching away so far beyond my reach, of the power of the waves pounding against the shore or whispering of stories buried in the deep. And no matter how many times I visit, no matter how I feel, no matter if there are clouds and rain or spotless skies, the sunrise always comes.
I am awed every single time by the beauty of one power greeting another, the sun saluting the sea. I marvel at how different it is in its sameness: it rises so faithfully we can give the exact minute it will appear, yet every day is different than the one before. Sometimes the colors blaze up as if the sun is rising straight from the heart of the ocean. Sometimes they playfully paint the clouds. Sometimes I do not see the sun at all, only her light seeping through the storm clouds.
And yet it always comes. At home, too, when I take the time to watch for it, the sunrise paints the mountains just as it does the ocean.
When I watch the sunrise at the beach, I always marvel at the people who are jogging with headphones blaring or walking along deep in conversation, seemingly oblivious to the masterpiece being painted before them. Yet at home, I am usually the same. Here, I only marvel because I choose to stop and see it, choose to come slipping along the dark pathways to wait for the sun to come as promised.
It does not grow less beautiful by repetition. We only grow less aware. And yet these moments are sacred. They take us to the thin places, the in-between cracks of the day where heaven comes close, where we can feel the pulse of the Creator.
What a marvel that this happens every single day, over oceans, mountains, cornfields, jungles, deserts. That He keeps coming this way, day after day, every day faithfully whispering His presence, even when we are already bent to the thoughts that consume us.
I wonder what it would sound like if all His people gathered around the sunrise and greeted His morning with worship? It would be a continual song of praise winding around the world, marking His faithful love for His children, the sunrise that never ends.