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  • "A Musing Pastor"

When Light Pushes Back the Dark.

"The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it." (John 1:5, NIV)

There is a moment when one is in the woods just before dawn and darkness is still winning. Night vision is still working and one can see slight movements much easier than you would think. Hearing acuteness is heightened and the stillness is almost magical. Mice and ground moles scurry through leaves and an occasional crow flies overhead squawking a forlorn call. The drawback would be air temperature. Most times there is a distinct chill in the air and I personally can't wait for the sun to rise. Funny how I never think how much I want the earth to rotate.... Seriously, the sun remains mostly fixed in space and time and our earth does all the rotating and orbiting. We usually talk about sunrises and sunsets though.

Another interesting event that usually occurs when the sun rises....I mean when the earth rotates toward the sun is a gentle rush of wind. I have experienced this phenomenon quite a few times. I have heard that when the sun rises.... I mean when the earth rotates toward the sun that the heat coming from the sun causes wind currents to rush across the landscape just about the time dawn breaks. It is pretty cool to hear the tops of the trees get energized by the rush of wind then become still again. It comes and goes within a few seconds, then the sun is in view. One could argue the wind picked up and blew through the trees. The problem with this argument is that the woods becomes eerily still again after the wind rush.

(Orchard Hill Retreat Center, Millerstown, PA)

I had the privilege to experience the same wind event at a silent retreat I attended a few years back. A few of us awoke before dawn to sit on the front porch of the retreat center. Silence enveloped us and darkness was winning. slowly the eastern sky began to become less dark, streaks of gray lifted from the horizon, and just as the sun creased the landscape, I snapped this picture. Within a few seconds, there was that familiar gentle rush of wind that swept across the grass, through the porch, then was gone. We admired the beauty, embraced the holiness of the moment, then relaxed in the unfolding day. I shall forever have this image ingrained in my mind.

I love the image and physical occurence when light pushes back the dark and when that sweet rush of wind glides across the landscape. There are so many ways to explain these moments in scientific terms. I like to think it is God allowing another day to be gifted and the breeze is His Spirit enlivening the new day. Quirky, I know, but it helps me focus on God's great nature.

"The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it." (John 1:5, NIV)

Today, well actually tomorrow morning before dawn, push yourself out of bed and find a place to watch the eastern sky, then wait. Soak in all the sights, sounds, and watch the darkness fade in view of the rising sun....I mean the rotating earth. Get ready to feel the fresh spirit of God wash over you and give thanks!

PS: I have found days without rain and clouds provide more impact for the sun rise and wind events.

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