Hope-filled Skies

What is it about winter that creates such amazing sun events?

A recent sunrise awed and humbled me as I watched at my kitchen window. What began as a few orange feathers soon turned into a mosaic of turquoise and terra cotta.

Then the sky danced. Ripples of wavy color expanded across the early Saturday palette. Like the fingers of God caressing his canvas with each change of color and texture.

Tears rivered down my cheeks as I imagined the Great Artist fashioning each moment just for me. Oh sure — other people around the world also observed this particular sunrise.

But it felt as if God and I communed on a new level. He showed off, and I gladly received his shameless promotion.

Then it was done as the sky became its usual wintry blue with only a hint of what had been so bold before.

But I was changed — ready to begin the day with words, to coach clients and edit books, to fashion my own plots with more intentional urgency. To write while there is time.

Nothing however compares to the sunset I experienced in Santa Fe.

A new friend and I walked in her subdivision, flanked by the Sangre de Cristo and Sandia mountain ranges. A comfortable September evening wrapped its early autumn calm around us as we chatted.

Then the sunset began — ribbons of color that felt familiar yet unique. An immediate underscoring of why Santa Fe is known for its sunsets.

We paused for a while and watched it expand across the desert landscape, cacti thorny arms reaching upward.

Then twilight began with its dark blue and twinkles of stars to come. We turned around, satisfied with the evening show and ready to finish the day.

But as we circled toward my friend’s house, another sunset formed. It interrupted the night sky with even more vibrant colors of intense light. Cerulean blues surrounded by beams of yellow trimmed in shimmering white.

A double sunset in one evening. Definitely a Santa Fe artistic moment.

I think of that sunset often, especially when I feel homesick for Santa Fe. The surprise and delight coupled with our worshipful “Ah-h-hs” as we expressed our praise of God’s handiwork.

Someday in eternity, I want Abba Father to show me how he makes such beauty. Each morning and evening a new mercy of his artful faithfulness.

I want him to teach me how to paint such brilliance in the sky, then sit back and whisper, “It is good.”

©2021 RJ Thesman – All Rights Reserved

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Finding the Light

During Christmas break, I sit in Mom’s house, a mile away from where she now lives in assisted living, an experience away from her new existence within the world of Alzheimer’s.

Shadows play against the wall. Sunset in Oklahoma still wins as my favorite part of the day.

I once climbed my special tree on the family farm, perched alone with my journal in one of my favorite spots, a nest of branches and limbs that held me safely as I watched the turquoise sky that framed the wheat field turn into a frame of orange and red.

Now within Mom’s house, I worship the creator of a new sunset as it changes a taupe wall to a natural painting of shadow on light.shadows of plant

The shadows grow deeper for Mom within her Alzheimer’s world even as they lengthen for my siblings and I. We observe Mom’s confusion and recognize more signs of the coming stages.

Our mother disappears into Alzheimer’s land. Our world changes once again as memory fades and communication alters.

Another 24 hours is spent, and I wonder about my own life, my own calendar of events. How should I live in this new year so that each sunset brings with it a contentment that I lived this day well, that I finished my course with joy and purpose?

How can I live so that when my own shadows lengthen and deepen, the light I have shared will be what is remembered – my legacy to the world for my God?

None of us is certain of our timelines. We can only attempt to do our best, to live and love and work with pride, to complete the tasks before us and honor the One who gives us the energy to work, to live and love.

We can only commit to a stronger and higher calling so that when the sunset comes, we will rejoice in the light that dances at the end of the day.

©2013 RJ Thesman – “The Unraveling of Reverend G” – http://amzn.to/11QATC1

Surprised by God

Anyone who knows me well understands why it is important for me to face the western sky at the end of the day.

I thrive on the colors and textures of sunsets.sunset in Olathe

One of the first things I want to do when I get to heaven is watch how God paints a different sunset every night. I imagine it looks even more amazing on the other side.

So each evening, I park myself in my rocker, the cat jumps on my lap and we prepare to worship God and his latest design. The other night, the cat and I took our positions, but all we saw was a tiny faint glow. On a scale of 10 for sunsets, it looked to be about 1.75. We watched the news for a while and did a few exercises, then looked at the sunset again.

What an amazing sight! God changed that tiny yellow to a fiery glow that spread its fingers into a mélange of golden shades. The colors peeked at us through our redbud tree and reminded us again – the cat and me – that the Divine Artist can redo any landscape.

So it is in our lives. Sometimes a tiny morsel of goodness appears. Someone sends a card with encouraging words. A publisher sends a contract. A friend, a real friend, “likes” us on Facebook.

That tiny nugget spreads hope, but then God comes along and explodes it into something better. He adds his touch and suddenly we feel connected to the Divine.

God is able to turn even the smallest events into a delightful surprise of joy.

All we have to do it keep watching and worship the One who makes it happen.

©2013 RJ Thesman