A Sunrise Kind of Life


By Maria Khan


Have you ever watched the sun rise in the morning?

When I was a young girl living in Tanzania, one of my favorite things to do was sneak upstairs to our terrace early in the morning with a handful of rice. I would go behind one of the huge black water tanks that lined our terrace and feed the pigeons.

And then I would watch the sun rise.

This was by far my favorite part of the day. I was entirely captivated by it. I would watch as an explosion of colors spread through the sky. The hues blended into one another more perfectly than I’ll ever blend eye shadow into Smokey eyes.

As the sun rose, color never concentrated in one place. It permeated through a vast expanse, traveling, expanding and marking the world with awe-inspiring patterns.

I think this is what Jesus meant when He said we would have the Light of Life if we followed Him (John 8:12). I think He meant we would have sunrise kind of lives: lives that burst at the seams, lives that spread out and overflowed into broken spaces.

I found this Light the day my marriage died.

I’d fought to keep my marriage. I’d prayed, screamed and begged. But no amount of resuscitation could bring it back to life.

But Jesus used the crumbling walls of my marriage to repair the walls in my heart, which had crumbled long before. Walls of accumulated pain. Walls that distanced me from my Savior: stunting and stagnating me.

“There’s a crack in everything,” Leonard Cohen once crooned. “That’s how the light gets in.”

That’s how Jesus’ Light shone through to me: through the cracks in the bowl I’d hid my lamp underneath. Through the abuse and lies about my value and worth. Through my stresses and wants and people-pleasing.

Jesus shone through the cracks. And like the Tanzanian Sun, flooding the expanse, His light flooded my broken heart.

He stitched it up, a little every day, giving me the peace I needed to be the patient, present mother my child needed. He rustled old dreams. He gave me new ones. He helped me overcome fears I’d held onto for far too long.

God is giving me a sunrise kind of life.

As I turn toward the Light and let it flood deep inside of me, I feel it healing my heart. I choose to stay in this Light–so I too can be Light. And as God repairs me, restores me and strengthens my soul, I know the cracks in my glowing heart are losing their shadows.

(Image: flickr / Design: Tina Francis)



My name is Maria or Mama AZ as I’d be known in Tanzania. I was born and raised there and now make my home in Surrey BC with my 2 year old daughter AZ. I’m in a season of rediscovery, connection and redemption. I write for my blog, photograph with my sister, work part-time as a Vision Therapist and do the mommy dance full time 🙂 My journal is my lifeline to God and stays with me wherever I go. I also can’t do without Chapstick. I’m overjoyed to have discovered this sisterhood and want to stay connected. You can read more about my life journey at Three Mustard Seeds.