A playful sky.
I woke quite early this morning. I resented the universe for startling me from slumber even before I opened my sleepy eyes. But when I did, I found a whole dawn sky of softest rose staring back and I felt that it was the face of a young child eager to play. The sunrise today wasn’t the fell, hard crimson of the dawns in “sailor’s warnings.” What I felt wasn’t awe, but laughter. For that light was gentle, an exuberance of playful color, a child’s breath lifting the thin morning clouds, blowing the streaks of mist into the light like dandelions in the wind.
I wondered abruptly if among the many other things he is, God is a glad-hearted child, a holy little one at play in creation, smearing vivid swathes of color over his page of sky, merry and sweet in his making, holding up his handiwork for us to see.
And I wonder if we, in our frailty, are careless, faulty keepers of this Child who tugs so ceaselessly on our hands, begging us to look on his creation. We barely glance, for we have more important things to do. We sleep or work through the beguiling moments of first light, our eyes fixed already on the lists within our brain before our eyes have even opened. We wake impatient for God to get on with the real stuff, willing only to look at him for spiritual business, for action, and need.
And he, with saddened eyes lets the soft, pink light fade. The hard day kick swiftly into gear along with his faithfulness and he sighs, hungry for the morning when we will all have aged enough to be a child like him once more.
But he, eternally innocent soul, is indomitable. His laughter rises with each new morning and he peers into the windows of our homes and hearts once more, begging us to play, to laugh, to see.
At least today, I did.
Sarah Clarkson is an author, blogger, and student of theology at the University of Oxford. She loves books, beauty, and imagination and wants everyone else to understand why they should too. She is the author of Read for the Heart (a guide to children’s literature) and Caught Up in a Story, an exploration of the way that narrative and imagination form a child’s sense of self. She wrote The Lifegiving Home with her mother, Sally Clarkson, and blogs about home, books, Oxford, and beauty at thoroughlyalive.com. When not chasing doctrinal mysteries down in the Bodleian, walking the meadows, or drinking another good cup of coffee, Sarah can be found at home with a good novel in the red-doored English house she shares with her husband, Thomas.