We started the long drive back from Colorado in the early morning light. Between Stonewall and Zamara we stopped along the side of the road to shuffle our seating positions. I pulled up beside this church. The early morning light created a glow around the front of the church. I got out of the car and took a picture.
This little church looked over a beautiful valley of farmland and forest. We saw deer and cows grazing in the fields. The community and the church looked like it had seen better days. I thought of this tattered structure sitting alone in this valley and wondered whether it was experiencing a sunrise in its life or a sunset. Was it beginning and being born anew or was it struggling and about to close its doors?
We live much of our lives trying to answer these questions. Is this job beginning or ending? Is this relationship growing or fading? Is this project going to succeed or fail? Am I going to pass this class or be in summer school?
If you saw this picture out of context you would need to know if the church is facing East or West? When you know that, then it is easy to know it is a sunrise. The difficulty is that most of our lives are not lived on a map and can be externally measured. Instead, life is lived on the filed of relationships. They are much harder to measure, much harder to discern.
We drove into the morning light and I watched as the sun grew strength and floated above me out of sight, but the church stuck with me. I have gone back to the picture over and again. It's been making me pray, "God gives us a sunrise of strength and joy and light."