Between Midnight and Dawn: Breaking Through



To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
~Luke 18:9-14


Walking in February
A warm day after a long freeze
On an old logging road
Below Sumas Mountain
Cut a walking stick of alder,
Looked down through clouds
On wet fields of the Nooksack—
And stepped on the ice
Of a frozen pool across the road.
It creaked
The white air under
Sprang away, long cracks
Shot out in the black,
My cleated mountain boots
Slipped on the hard slick
—like thin ice—the sudden
Feel of an old phrase made real—
Instant of frozen leaf,
Icewater, and staff in hand.
“Like walking on thin ice—”
I yelled back to a friend,
It broke and I dropped
Eight inches in
~Gary Snyder “Thin Ice”


This presidential election season has been an exhausting exercise in self-aggrandizement — candidates turning up the heat by exalting themselves over their competition, all while standing on the deep frozen lake of voter emotions.

The trouble with such overheating in the middle of winter is that we all end up walking on too-thin ice: both those who are far too overconfident in expressing their own righteous views and opinions about how much better they are than others, and those of us who listen and believe the blowhards.

We’ll all end up breaking through the ice, thoroughly doused by the chilly waters below.

Lord, have mercy on us,
help us recognize the cracks forming beneath our feet,
by putting us on our knees before you
and you alone.




During this Lenten season, I will be drawing inspiration from the new devotional collection edited by Sarah Arthur —Between Midnight and Dawn

3 thoughts on “Between Midnight and Dawn: Breaking Through

  1. Lord, have mercy on us,
    help us recognize the cracks forming beneath our feet,
    by putting us on our knees before you
    and you alone.

    Amen!! I totally agree–“before you, and you alone, Lord”. In the midst of this chaos, His light in this darkness is our only hope!!


  2. Yes, Emily. You have articulated a most crucial warning, a caveat that we need to heed well.

    ‘On our knees before Him’ IS the answer – the ONLY answer. Not only for this upcoming election but in all things that tend to separate us from God’s love and protection. As our Creator-Gardner, He has already done the spade work for us because He searches human hearts. He knows where the traps and the pitfalls are that will cause us to become separated from Him.

    I would also recommend that we make ourselves aware of the extreme spiritual warfare by which all persons of faith are ceaselessly assailed. This problem has always been with us but it seems particularly widespread in its malevolence and, particularly, in the current political malfeasance
    that seems to intensify each election cycle and at every stage of governance.

    For instruction and for protection from this evil I refer to The Letter to the Ephesians (generally attributed to St. Paul), where the Battle Against Evil through spiritual warfare is addressed.
    See: Ephesians 6: 10-17.


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