For as long as I could remember, my mother got up early.
When I was young, sometimes I would sneak out of bed at the crack of dawn to watch cartoons or just explore the house. The first time I tried it, I assumed I would be the only one awake. I relished the idea of having the place to myself and being able to do whatever I wanted. Imagine my surprise when I found my mother sitting there.
It’s been many years since that first morning, so I don’t remember all the details. But I can tell you what probably happened, because it was repeated hundreds of times over the years.
My mother sat beside a lamp at one end of the sofa, wearing a bathrobe, with her Bible open and a glass of water by her side. Her eyes were closed, but she wasn’t sleeping. She was sitting very still.
When I entered the room, she opened her eyes. Seeing me, she smiled and said, “Hello, sweetheart.” There was a warm glow about her face and a feeling of peace in the air.
In the dim light of dawn, my mother had created a room for God. She went there every day to read, study, and listen. She knew every inch of that room. It was her home. Her family and friends were there, along with some of the things she loved: books, seashells, a bright red raincoat, dolls for her grandchildren.
God was there.
It was a God she always had said was both mother and father. Sometimes she could barely make them out. Other times they were so clear and distinct that she could almost touch them. But they always were there.
As I grow older, I find myself getting up earlier than I used to. I write. Like my mother, I listen. When I finish, the sun is slanting through the window and the day has begun.
It will be a good day.