Month: December 2012

Visions and revisions

Sunrise at the Monahans Sandhills State Park

Sunrise at the Monahans Sandhills State Park

This year, I decided to be different and tell the last night of the old year good-bye. Which is why I was up too early, buying a cup of truck stop coffee and heading out to chase one last 2012 sunrise.

I felt a little ridiculous as I stumbled up a few dunes at the Monahans Sandhills State Park. This is not the kind of thing it ever occurred to me to do when I still lived in West Texas. When I was a kid, I cartwheeled down the hills and aspired to extreme sandsurfing greatness before it was cool.

Then I grew up a bit, stopped looking at the desert, and started looking for reasons to move away. Sometimes you have to leave a place to really see it.

The moonlight played tricks on the panorama. I listened to coyotes and morning (mourning?) doves sing to the stars. The stars are so. bright. in the desert night.

I plotted my options in case of a rabid coyote attack. The granola bars in the bottom of my pack probably would probably not make a tempting enough distraction to give me a head-start on the run back to the car. Available ammunition? A pocket Bible, cell phone, and a copy of The Two Towers. None would be worth sacrificing in case of coyote or jackrabbit attack. I’d take my chances.

When it was finally light enough to almost see, I dug my Bible out of my backpack and read aloud.

By the time the sun made its underwhelming appearance behind a thick bank of clouds, I couldn’t feel my fingers or toes. Not enough clothes. Not… enough… socks. Not enough coffee.

But there was an understatedly beautiful older-than-time testimony written across the sky.

God’s glory is on tour in the skies,

God-craft on exhibit across the horizon.

Madame Day holds classes every morning,

Professor Night lectures each evening.


Their words aren’t heard,

their voices aren’t recorded,

But their silence fills the earth:

unspoken truth is spoken everywhere.


That’s how God’s Word vaults across the skies

from sunrise to sunset,

Melting ice, scorching deserts,

Warming hearts to faith.


Psalm 19:1-6, The Message