“Let others tell of storms and showers,
I’ll only mark your sunny hours.”
“True as the needle to the pole,
Or as the dial to the sun.”
“Give God thy heart, thy service, and thy gold;
The day wears on, and time is waxing old.”
–Sun Dial in the Cloister-garden of Gloucester Cathedral.
“If o’er the dial glides a shade, redeem
The time for lo! it passes like a dream;
But if ’tis all a blank, then mark the loss
Of hours unblest by shadows from the cross.”
–On a Sun Dial in a churchyard at Shenstone, England.
As a child I was fascinated that time could actually be marked without a clock! Funny how the childlike brain works sometimes . . .
Should we only mark the sunny hours then? What if there is a joy to be found in the shadows as well? What if there is a Blessing to be had when the shadow of the cross marks our days?
I can look back on days when I felt the dark would never end, but it was in the dark-seeing that lessons were learned that sunlight could never have taught me . . . When the curriculum that we had spent so many hours creating didn’t sell, and when the printing business that we had gathered fell apart at the seams, our family was carried by a God who never left us alone. When the relationships were torn asunder, and when the church that we had loved fell apart, our view of God’s love was suddenly stretched beyond the easy phrase memorized and spoken by rote.
Even now, when the fatigue or the pain come ready to swallow my nights and steal my rest, the peace that only Jesus brings teaches me to wait upon Him in a stillness that is new to me.