It was two o’clock in the morning and I had just woken up from a particularly nasty dream. I was in those tender moments between wakefulness and sleep, my phone tucked under my pillow with worship music softly filling the dark quiet and Josh’s heavy breathing next to me. And for an exhausted hour, I prayed. Words slipped off my tongue and out of my memory and I knew I was experiencing a deeper part of Him. One I wouldn’t remember. Hearing murmurs of truth that would hold fast in my spirit. I remember thinking “I should write this down”. I didn’t. But there are nine words that did stick with me:
There was evening.
And there was morning.
The first day.
The next morning, I climbed back into bed with fresh coffee on the nightstand and Genesis 1 open on the covers. I began thinking about darkness and life and the darkness of life. I thought about how think about our days as beginning in the morning and ending in the evening – but it’s not that way in Scripture.
You know the story: first, God created the heavens, and then the earth. But the darkness was on the face of the deep so He hovered over the face of the waters and whispered light. Because God is light without even a trace of darkness in Him.
Oh, what that first light must have looked like, with Your face hovered, Your reflection shining back.
And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters – hovering and brooding over the shapeless mass of earth. The Hebrew word for hovering, rachaph, means cherishing and vivifying – hanging closely over something.
There is something about the ocean – I thought about it a lot while we lived on Maui, a thousand feet from the beach. The natives believed there were healing powers within it. But me? I knew that it’s the one tangible place where the presence of God was – a place I could put my toes into and trace back to Scripture. So looking at it, watching it, imagining God’s face hovering over it and whispering into it? I can almost see the ripples forming, pushing out, as darkness gives way to light and colors build and change in the most jaw-dropping fashion
God hovered over the face of the waters in Genesis 1:2 and whispered: “Let there be light.” And that night, seven years ago, when I woke up with a start to the darkest part of the night? He hovered over my face, speaking light.
He has a habit of doing that – speaking light in the darkest of seasons. And those dark seasonal days? They are just like every other day since the beginning of them: so the evening and the morning were the first day. And the second. And the third. On and on it goes, from night to end of night.
From darkness to light.
From sunset to coming of daylight.
From weeping in the night to joy in the morning.
Our days? They don’t end in darkness. And this life? It doesn’t end in darkness, either. And these bodies of ours? They are made up mostly of water. And so I pray: Holy Spirit hover over my face – over this body of water – and whisper light. Send Your ripple of glory through me. Start a ripple effect right here, right now, that will spread to the other bodies of water around me. Reflect Your face off of me, Lord. And reflect Your face off of them.
* * *
Six months ago, I had you vote on the inaugural color of the Quiet Time Binder prototype I was working on. The results were close – within 50 votes of a tie between options A and D:
The one that came out on top? Big Ideas Blue.
It’s perfect, really, how the voting went, because it’s an homage to the color of the prayer journal I was using when the idea was born:
And to the color of the Maui ocean water that started my love for His Holy Spirit hovering:
And then there’s the whole thing about morning dew that I came upon last summer as I slipped out the slider to clean up toys before sprinklers drowned them:
The grass is wet with dew. My drowsy brain tickles, starting a rhythm of a morning song I can’t quite put my finger on – something leftover from a springing-up well I’ve been studying.
“The rise of natural phenomenon,” I remember reading in a lexicon – one of 10 descriptions for ‘alah – the Hebrew word for “spring up” in Num 21:17.
But dew doesn’t rise from the ground, I think in morning confusion. It is still early. I should have been up an hour ago, but the snooze button is too accessible, and I’ve hit it three times in my sleep before I realize.
The sight of the coffee in my mug makes my brain stretch and move, shaking off sleep before even touching my lips. I look up ‘alah again, searching for dew, find it tucked next to a reference to Exodus 16:14.
“And when the layer of dew lifted,” it reads, “there, on the surface of the wilderness, was a small round substance.”
Ahh, I think. It isn’t the dew materializing that ‘alah was referring to – it is the disappearing of it. And after it sprung up and went? God left some morning manna in its wake.
“This is the bread which the Lord has given you to eat,” Moses told the people when they looked at the aftermath of dew and morning fog.
Give me this day my daily bread, I pray a piece of the Lord’s prayer from Matthew 6:11. My mind is shifting toward Deborah’s song. “Awake! Awake!” she told herself in Judges 5:12, and I will myself to do the same. There might not be a chariot army to conquer, but there is an army of little ones about to stir and a list a mile wide of things to get done before they do.
And so it was that the binder color name was changed to Morning Dew. Because after His Spirit hovers and He speaks light and the morning dew up and leaves? He leaves the morning-manna to be gathered. So I pray, for every single woman that will place her future Morning Dew Quiet Time Binder onto her kitchen table and opens her Bible to dig:
Holy Spirit, hover.