Awakening

What is important is the moment of opening a life and feeling it touch—with an electric hiss and cry—this speckled mineral sphere, our present world. – Annie Dillard

It could be almost nothing—morning haze hovering on a hillside, a shimmer on the palm of my hand, the cool of evening coming in the window, words on a page—but it shifts atoms, startles something in me: an electric current barrels through my being.

I awake: my cells fill up with light, veins swept through with singing. This joy beats against the underside of my skin, wild to burst through the seams. Buoyant, so full of light am I, I could kick off my shoes and float right up through the ceiling, shining and bright, keeping company with stars.

In these moments, these nothing moments, so easily passed over, I find myself more truly and more strange. I find myself breathing the sweet air of the land of the living. Here, briefly, I am alive, alive, alive, more alive than all the world, and consumed, achingly in love with living, with the living, with the living God.

Still, it is easy to forget. So quickly I come back down to earth and lose myself in the trudge and trample of days. I come back to a safe, moral life and fill my time with littleness and clichés that satisfy my superficial longings and leave me exactly where I started, only more miserable, only more numbed to my own ravaged appetite for the deep and real.

So, mornings, I direct myself to hunger for the rich fare, to refuse to lift even a spoonful of anything meager and bland to my lips. I renounce the commonplace, the mundane, the tedious, and the dreary. Instead I claim extravagance, the thrill, and this humming, sparking, trembling awareness of constant conversation with this good, gracious God as my inheritance.

And when He shows up, the moments of my days hit like bombs, that momentous, that consequential, blowing to bits all the illusions that what I have seen and what I have already known is enough. There is more, more than eye can see and ear can hold, more than my slight, fragile frame can contain. The most mundane of moments masks the most marvelous of mysteries. Oh the living, the living—the opening of a life and the touching of fire…

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