It only lasted a moment but what a moment.
And how near I came to missing it.
Seven a.m. is rush hour in my kitchen on a weekday morning. Perhaps it’s the same in your home?
It is not the hour for stopping to smell the roses. I’ve learned–through trial and error–that it isn’t even the time for a bit of devotional reading or prayer with my kids. We save that for the dinner table.
It is the hour for breakfast (thanks to my husband we do manage eggs and pancakes more often than cereal). It is the hour for mini-meltdowns (none of my clothes are clean! I can’t find my shoes! I forgot my homework!). It is the hour for gritting my teeth and holding on to my patience with a white-knuckled grip of the mind.
Though I prefer to live life at a sedate and comfortable pace, seven a.m. on a Tuesday isn’t an hour I can control. It is lived at top speed or not lived at all (and, yes, I do sometimes linger in my bedroom and leave the rest of the family on their own with the morning madness).
But what if our harvest of glory arrives without warning at seven a.m. on a Tuesday?
It only lasted a moment. Whirling from coffee pot to refrigerator, I saw it. I saw how the rising sun sent a beam of light straight through the eastern kitchen window. The peonies on the table were suddenly lit up as if some inner light bulb had switched on.One second nothing.
The next a burning bush.
In the thirty-third chapter of Deuteronomy Moses blesses the wandering tribes. Joseph’s blessing is a harvest blessing:
May the Lord bless his land with the precious dew from heaven above and with the deep waters that lie below; with the best the sun brings forth and the finest the moon can yield; with the choicest gifts of the ancient mountains and the fruitfulness of the everlasting hills; with the best gifts of the earth and its fullness and the favor of him who dwelt in the burning bush.
I have written all these many months–through winter and spring and almost into summer–of how to cultivate glory in the ordinary soil of an ordinary life.
But this harvest of glory is never predictable. I cannot consult some seasonal time table in a farmer’s almanac. If I prepare, it is only as one prepares for astonishment and surprise.
How I long for the gifts Moses sings about in this blessing. How I long to see the favor “of him who dwelt in the burning bush.”
But what if the burning bush alights on my kitchen table at seven a.m. on a Tuesday morning?
Will I rush on by?
Or will I stop? Will I pay attention?
Will I say, as Moses himself once said, “I will go over and see this strange sight.”