Sunrise is an event that calls forth solemn music in the very depths of our nature,
as if one’s whole being had to attune itself to the cosmos
and praise God for the new day,
praise him in the name of all the creatures that ever were or ever will be.
I look at the rising sun and feel that now upon me
falls the responsibility of seeing what all my ancestors have seen,
in the Stone Age and even before it, praising God before me.
Whether or not they praised him then, for themselves, they must praise him now in me.
When the sun rises each one of us is summoned by the living and the dead to praise God.
~Thomas Merton from Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander
The first hints of an orange sherbet sunrise this morning began around 5:15 AM, and rapidly stretched across the eastern horizon north and south, with the colors deepening and spreading across the cloud cover. Mt. Baker and the Twin Sisters started as dark silhouettes against this palette of rich color, then began to show crags and glaciers as the sun illuminated the clouds above them. The entire farm was cast in an orange glow for a few brief seconds as the color crept higher and higher up the cloud banks overhead. Then it ended as quickly as it began.
All at once, everything returned to gray and ordinary, with no hint of the spectacular show that had just taken place. It could be dismissed so easily but must not be forgotten in our return to the routine of every breath, every step of our daily lives.
A sunrise is His smile and encouragement when we are barraged daily with discouragement. Here, free for the taking, is startling, wondrous magnificence beyond imagination — grace that brings us to our knees, especially when we are mired in gray troubled ordinariness and plainness.
Drink deeply of this.
Hold it, savor it and know:
to witness any sunrise is a chance to praise God to His smiling face.