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The Morning Offering

September 3rd, 2013by Mary Anne Bressler

sunriseMy commute to work is not very long, less than ten minutes even if I miss all of the lights. It isn’t precisely what one would describe as a scenic drive, traversing down Madison Road through Oakley and into Madisonville. I pass businesses, stores, a very large megachurch complex, bowling alley, and the Children’s Home. Despite this mundane backdrop, I find this three mile drive to be often breathtakingly beautiful and inspiring.

Generally speaking, I am on the road somewhere between 7 and 8. Depending on the time of year, the sun is somewhere over the horizon. I am treated to some spectacular displays of early morning light, particularly on days when there are clouds filtering the sunshine. The colors can range from pink to purple to gold. The clouds might be huge puffy cushions or mere threads. At a few points I have a grand view of the horizon and at other spots the light frames trees and buildings. It’s my early morning encounter with the grand job of Creation. God really has a way with light and shadow.  (Some fabulous sunsets can be seen from the parking lot of the Center of Cincinnati off Ridge, by the way.)

I know that it’s a greeting card cliché to use light breaking through the clouds to represent divine presence—but it’s a cliché because it does have some truth to it. I don’t think of God as an old guy with a white beard floating in the sky, but I certainly think of all of Creation—earth, sky and sea—as a manifestation of the Divine. These early morning light shows are for me God’s way of saying “Good morning. All is well in my world and I hope you remember me throughout the day.”

I look forward to seeing the canvas of the day. An unavoidable temptation is my desire to take a picture, to capture this beautiful moment. Obviously this is not a good idea while driving, but even more than that, I distract myself from being present in the moment by wanting to pull out camera or phone to snap a picture. (Not that this has completely stopped me, to be sure, but I am getting better at refraining.) I know very well that there will be another gorgeous sky on another day. God isn’t going to stop providing me with these morning glories.

Mary Anne Bressler

Mary Anne Bressler is a parishioner and Pastoral Associate at St. Anthony Church in Madisonville and an adjunct faculty member at Xavier University.