Stephen & Laura Holt | Sierra Leone, West Africa

Sermon in the Sunrise

I’m sure I’ve said it before but will risk the repetition; being this close to the equator (7 degrees north latitude) the sunrises and sunsets are over just about as soon as they start.  Even the most beautiful effects don’t linger so if you miss it, well, you just miss it.

This sunrise was so wondrously beautiful; like none other I’ve seen before.  Please, bear with me as words fail.

 

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This isn’t the sunrise in the story but is still very lovely!

Date of original journal entry: October 29, 2013

On the veranda early this morning I was privileged to witness what is perhaps one of the most beautiful sunrises I’ve ever seen; certainly it was the most instructive and became a deeply touching personal lesson even as it was quickly fading away.

Having had heavy rain all night there was, for this time of year, an unusually dense fog which hung low following the course of the river as it winds and meanders through the Kangari Hills.  The rain had subsided but the low clouds kept the sky darker than is typical of a late October morning.

Then a small thread of pale rose began to color the sky.  It quickly grew in intensity as the sun made its way up though still completely hidden behind the deep charcoal grey-green of the hills while the valleys remained densely dark.

As the glow from the hidden sun increased upward, the fog – vapor – caught that glow as thousands and millions of water droplets refracted the light casting it downward, brightening the valleys even to their deepest darkest reaches.  The light borrowed from the as-yet not visible sun was radiant against the darkness of the valleys though the fog was below the hilltops and completely separated from its source of light.  Brilliant rose madder mingled with intense gold ochre glowing joyously despite the deep darkness surrounding it; yea, the darkness only served to intensify the effect igniting the valleys with a golden wash.

And as vapor is wont to do, the fog moved on.  It had appeared for a little time and then . . .  it vanished away.  The now-risen sun, the source, had swallowed up the darkness in its brighter, more glorious light.

A picture of my little life, the sunrise has today reminded me of the brevity.  Yet it’s also a sweet reminder that while I walk this dark valley called Life I am to radiantly and joyously reflect the borrowed glory of the Son.  And though separated from him for a time, I’m also encouraged in the promise of his coming when my faint borrowed light will be returned to him in the glory of his presence.

“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tired with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory” – I Peter 1:7-8

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