As I almost stop and begin to turn west on Radio Lane, I look to the left and see a bright orange glow low in the sky. I pause, feeling that longing for slow days and time to gaze off into the sunrise for a while. I wish that I were already retired or on vacation and living somewhere with a good long view of the east. But the will to work is strong and I turn onto the way I need to go.
Heading south on Summit a minute later, I keep looking off to the east, see those long lines of color behind the trees, beyond the houses, beyond the city. To the south and west a deep nest of bruising clouds gather in the darkness, pushing their way toward me. I look back toward that calling brightness.
Instead of steering straight in that long s-curve where Summit meets Kansas Avenue, I turn away from the threatening blue and head away from town. It is early enough, I convince myself, that I can take time for this indulgence. Past the school, rising over the railroad tracks, I continue east, never looking back behind me.
Out here now, on the bypass, I swing over onto the shoulder and park. I roll down the window, feel the cool of morning air… and stare out across the river bottoms, beyond the lines of bare-branched trees, beyond the distant rim of the Flint Hills. Long rills of color run above the horizon, stretching straight toward Oklahoma. Back to the northeast, they curve left and upward and end beneath a few stars and clear sky.
Even on the darkest clouds slightly south, a faint blush of rose soothes the edges of the coming storm. I do not know what else lies in the forming of this good day. But I do know the One who has made it and know that He has numbered the hairs on my head and that I am worth more than many sparrows.
I look back to the east again for one long, lingering moment. I sigh and switch the headlights back on, swing out onto the road. A sun that I cannot see has brushed the sky above me and I know that I am blessed beyond belief. To wake in a warm bed, be fed and clothed and then see glory such as this is to feel God’s own kiss tender on my forehead.
My Papa loves me.