A Painted Fog


This morning in Tennessee it was a cool 36*C. Just before 7am I rolled over, wrapped in softness and warmth, hoping to get a couple of extra hours of autumn sleep. Instead, I heard a whisper. Full disclosure compels me to let you in on a secret, no one else was home. The whisper came again, “Let’s go see the sunrise. We can leave now and catch it rise over the river.” The whisper was playful, gentle, a voice that knows the deepest parts of my heart where sunrises and rivers often mingle. God’s voice invited me to an impromptu morning of goodness, an early morning date. 

For once, I got up, threw on some old clothes, grabbed my camera and drove off in to the darkness. As I approached the river area, the sky that I hoped would be painted yellow and pink was hidden in a dense fog. When God invites you out, however, even the fog is captivating. 

Can the fog of our life be goodness as well? I thought back over the trials of previous months and years, my own and those of friends and family. There are so many moments when we lean forward, aching for a sunrise, when all we can see is fog: death, pain, hate, violence…thick, consuming fog.

There are times when all we see is fog. This morning as I ached in the fog, I turned a sharp corner and saw the palette before me, a painted fog. The picture was still unclear; the sun nowhere to be found. But there was enough light to identify color in the surrounding mist. Autumn yellows, rust, red, orange, leaves began calling me to examine the fog and find the goodness. 

There is a time for everything. Many days hold only fog and that’s okay. We need to be kind to ourselves then, and sit with compassion in the pain. With gratefulness this morning, however, I know that at times we also come to a place where the colors of goodness begin to settle in to our souls and give homage to the mourning process and the place where healing begins to whisper. 

A painted fog reminded me this morning of a good and kind Spirit that invites me to play, to mourn, to seek, and to be born once more in hope of the sunrise over the river. 

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