The Stillness of 6 AM

I’m house-sitting for some friends. Along with the house, I’m also looking after their dog. She’s an early riser, generally wanting breakfast around (or by, as the case has been some mornings this week) 5:30am. I’d rather she wait until at least 6:30am to wake me up by ramming her body against the bedroom door. Usually, that is. Last night I decided that I was going to stay awake this morning when roused from my sleep.

It started to storm just before 2 in the morning. It woke me up first. I could see lightning flashing, even through the curtains covering the bedroom window, and heard many rolls of thunder. I noted the time before turning over and falling back to sleep.

I heard the ramming at the door around 4:30. This furry friend is nothing if not persistent with me, so I begrudgingly rolled out of bed and opened the door. She briskly made her way to the door and I opened it, knowing it was unlikely she’d actually go outside since it was still heavily raining.

I was right.

Shaking my head, I went back to the bedroom, shutting the door before she could weasel her way in with me. I had considered feeding her breakfast at that point, but opted not to in hopes that I would still be able to stick to my original plan and be up for the day around 6.

Sure enough, 5:30 rolled around and the ‘knocking’ on the door had me up and at the door. This time when I made it to the kitchen, I grabbed her food bowl and filled it. I refilled her water as she ate. And then I grabbed a mug and heated some water before dropping a tea bag inside of it. I opened the door for my puppy-pal while the tea began turning the water dark. This time, despite the rain, she ran outside. I finished preparing my tea, grabbed my Bible and went to the couch.

As I waited for the first glimpse of white fur outside of the door, I sat observing the beginnings of the day. Birds were faintly chirping. The rain softly rushed from heaven to earth. The sun wasn’t yet showing itself– for once, I’d risen before it had woken. And it was in that moment that I realized why I’d been so adamant about starting my day in the early hours of the morning.

There’s a stillness to 6 AM.

I’ve always been a sort of morning person. It doesn’t bother me to be up in the morning hours; I actually enjoy it. Oftentimes, though, I’m simply not awake any earlier than I need to be, and for the most part 7:30-8am is the earliest I really ever have a need to greet the day. When I am up earlier, though, I can appreciate it, even if at first I’m a bit bitter about it due to a sense of weariness or lack of sleep. There’s a fullness of day that is hard to find unless you start it bright and early. Today I think I experienced it- all before 8:00.

It wasn’t anything incredible that happened to me. In reality, it was simply the unhurried start to a new day, one full of possibilities and new mercies. It was being woken and praying for help to truly wake up. It was sips of tea swirled with milk and sweetened with truvia. It was opening the Word to Judges and then moving ahead to Ruth with no rush. It was melodies and acclamations resounding in a quiet room with only One to hear them. It was the truest sense of good morning I’d lived in awhile.

I stood with the back door open for a long minute before I stretched out my arm to catch raindrops in my hand. They were cool to the touch, just as I was hoping they would be. I cupped my hand and waited as drops gathered, then brought the wetness to my eyes. The rain brought a bit of relief to my tired eyes.

Before returning my glasses to their rightful place, I looked up toward the sky. The world was blurry, the tree before me slightly recognizable while the world beyond it a fuzzy mess of shape and colors. As I looked, though, I saw something much more clearly than I had with my sight more fully intact. I could see the rain falling in drops connected like strands, nearly invisible lines made more clear in my weakness– beauty only able to be seen when viewed through a different perspective than the norm.

I went into the bathroom to place my contacts on my eyes. Looking in the mirror I noticed my eyes were puffy and tired. My heart, though, was undoubtably full.