The Light Will Come

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“If our eyes are keen, we see the glimmers of beauty, we find the silver linings, we watch for the light.”

By Leigh Kramer | Twitter: @hopefulleigh

2678550359_2833d4bccc_oI’m not a morning person. At all. My parents and friends would laugh at the thought of me bouncing out of bed … ready to take on the day … talking.

I’m not grumpy per se. I merely prefer to wake up on my own terms, which generally involves a lot of stumbling around the house and silence. It surely does not involve waking up early, work commitments aside.

Several years ago I hiked part of the Grand Canyon. This involved months of training through Hike for Discovery, a fundraising program with The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. My then-roommate Donna found out about the trip and I didn’t need much convincing. Hiking the Grand Canyon for a good cause? Done!

As the hike date drew near, I learned we’d have to get up pretty early to avoid the worst of the June heat. I tried to psych myself up for it: it was one day and I’d get to hike the Grand Canyon. It would be worth it. Plus, I could sleep in the next day.

Once the Chicago team arrived in Arizona, we learned which hiking groups we’d be in.  Donna and I were on the Kaibab trail. We needed to eat breakfast and complete our gear check before our bus left. My “night owl who dances with insomnia on a regular basis” mind about imploded when we figured out how early we needed to get up. 3:45am.

I got maybe a couple hours of sleep that night, but I was right: it was worth it. The trail was amazing. The views unparalleled. If you haven’t experienced the Grand Canyon yet, you must. We were running on adrenaline from the moment the alarm clock went off. Our hike began about 5:15am and we finished 7 hours later: triumphant, hungry, and tired.

All the while, a giddy refrain played in my mind: I get to sleep in tomorrow!

Until a new friend approached Donna, me, and a few others at the celebration that night. Would we like to see the sunrise at the Grand Canyon?

I confess this was not as easy an answer for me as it should have been. See exhibit A: only a couple of hours of sleep the night before. See exhibit B: not a morning person.

But I knew I’d regret it if I didn’t go.

The next morning we got up at 4:30am (a whole extra 45 minutes!) and silently shuffled to our friend’s car. We soon set ourselves up at Yavapai Point and waited.

The darkness stretched all around us, the morning chill reaching through my fleece jacket. My eyes scanned the other side of the canyon, waiting for some sign of the sun’s arrival. But nothing.

Black inky night reigned supreme, unwilling to cede to light. And so we waited. Other people joined us at the lookout. Whether these newcomers were morning people, I can’t say. We waited in silence, a holy quiet permeating our watch.

God sat there in our midst. I couldn’t help but recall all I’d experienced the day before. How small I felt in the middle of the Canyon’s vast expanse. How there was no escaping God’s artistry. Wonder filled me over what might be next.

And then—and not a moment sooner—a soft navy emerged from the black. Bits of purple and then pink and then brilliant orange and finally yellow joined the morning chorus. Everywhere I looked a new beauty emerged. I was overwhelmed to know this existed.

I’d wake up at 4:30am the next day, if only to experience it anew.

Sunrises are beautiful in and of themselves. A new day dawns and with it, our hope. Not all days are meant for hiking the Grand Canyon and making a big splash. Most days are about showing up in the day to day details. If our eyes are keen, we see the glimmers of beauty, we find the silver linings, we watch for the light.

I’m not sure I’ve risen early for another sunrise since that day, but I have had plenty of opportunities to sit in darkness. Often tired and chilled, it has not been easy to wait for the light. Or shall I say, it’s not always easy to believe the light will come at all. There’s a stubborn part of me, however, that presses on anyway. And somehow, God keeps showing up and illumining the way He works even when I don’t understand. Especially when I don’t understand.

These days my life is filled with navies, purples, and pinks. The oranges and yellows are just over the horizon. There’s much beauty to behold. Darkness may come again and when it does, I will posture myself.

The light will come. All we have to do is wait. And wonder.

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About Leigh:

Bio picture 120Leigh Kramer is on a quest; she’s living life on purpose. Her to-do list might look something like this: leave life in the Midwest for Nashville, Tennessee with only fried pickles for comfort, quit steady job as a social worker to chase that dream of writing at last, suck the marrow out of life’s in-between places and revel in the now at every turn. She is a contributor at A Deeper Family. Leigh shares this journey through words of transparency, heart, and just a dash of pluck at LeighKramer.com and on Twitter at @hopefulleigh.
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Image Credit: Michael Wifall

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Leigh Kramer
Leigh Kramer is on a quest; she’s living life on purpose. Her to-do list might look something like this: leave life in the Midwest for Nashville, Tennessee, followed by San Francisco, quit steady job as a social worker to chase her dreams of writing, suck the marrow out of life’s in-between places and revel in the now at every turn. Leigh shares this journey through words of transparency, heart, and just a dash of pluck at LeighKramer.com and on Twitter at @hopefulleigh.
Leigh Kramer

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