Thursday, February 26, 2009

Before the Dawn-Wind Rises

"Before the dawn-wind rises,
Before the shadows flee,
I will go to the mountain of myrrh,
to the hill of frankincense.

For me the reward of virtue is to see your face,
and, on waking, to gaze my fill on your likeness."

Song of Songs 4:6
Psalm 17:15
The Jerusalem Bible

Our church prepared and distributed a very cool devotional/journal for Lent. A couple of things that impressed me in the beginning were a call to contemplation, and listening silently for God.

It is really hard for me to still my mind. It immediately starts chattering away, babbling, even. Or else it listens for a split-second and then doesn't hear an instant response, and impatiently flits away to any random distraction at hand. That is one reason that my favorite time to spend with God is "before the dawn-wind rises". I can breathe in His fragrance with fewer things vying for my attention. I'm also learning again that it is OK if He is silent. All that matters is being together. I think I've shared before one of my favorite quotes from Jamie Buckingham, "Nothing is as important as wasting time with God."

I know that book tastes vary widely, as illustrated by a recent post (and thank you so much for your gracious comments, BlessedMama!), but one of my favorite fiction books is also titled, Before the Dawn-Wind Rises, by Laurie B. Clifford. I particularly wanted to share an excerpt from it (The Minnow Creek), but I can't without copyright infringement, and a synopsis wouldn't capture the power in it.

Anyway, it is a book that stuck with me, even when I wasn't sure that I liked it. Bits and pieces had a way of coming back to me regularly. I don't know much about Ms. Clifford's life, but her understanding of third-culture kids makes me think she must have been one herself. This book has some powerful ideas about hypocrisy in the church, surrender and acceptance. (Commercial within a commercial: her children's book, Evergreen Castles, is quite possibly my favorite kids book of all time. It is hilariously funny and real, but the message of forgiveness is compelling even to an adult).

This is the amazon link for anyone who might be interested.

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