For the first time in over a week, I awoke this morning in darkness. It was 5:50AM and although it was only the light on my phone that allowed me that information, sleep had already fled and it seemed I was being called to pay attention. So here I am awash in thoughts of light and darkness, blindness and sight. Isaiah 29 promises today that out of gloom and darkness, the eyes of the blind shall see while Psalm 27 hurls into the dark a declaration in answer to – perhaps – our own question: The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear? The psalmist goes on in confidence attesting to the belief that he shall see the bounty of the Lord in the land of the living and urging us to wait for the Lord with courage; be stouthearted and wait for the Lord. Matthew’s Jesus cures two blind men and I begin to wonder why he warned them (sternly, the story says) to see that no one knows about this – a directive that they totally ignore. Perhaps there is some deep value here about holding things in our hearts.
So what is it that I am to see today and how will I come to know the happening? I needn’t work to produce the dawn; it comes of its own accord (as it now has while I’ve been writing). I couldn’t make it happen anyway. All I can do, it seems, is notice: see it and know a truth about the ways of time and light. Sensing all that, I turn back to a lovely translation of Psalm 27 that matches the desire that woke me and moves me forward today.
There’s only this one thing I ask of you, one thing for which I care, that your own dwelling place becomes a home for me; each day, each night, I shelter there. For in that place I see the brilliance and the beauty of your face; all this, enough for me, is temple, mountain, highest ground, and there I come to seek and know your grace, your love. For in these troubled times I come to you to find a place to hide away, your light a tent that covers all. Your presence is the highest pinnacle of rock on which to stand, beyond this storm. For there you raise my head and lift my eyes to you above my enemies round about and unafraid. And in this sacred place I give my being back to you… (Ps. 27:4-8a – with apologies to Lynn Bauman for my formatting)