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I wrote this poem during a time of ‘darkness,’ when my way forward seemed impossible to discern. I woke in the middle of the night, and it seemed the Spirit’s presence with me was palpable. There still was no clear path, but it didn’t seem to matter. To be with Him, in the hush of the night, was to know that all those aspects of things I could not see were safe in His keeping.
Right within my own murky being, His Word – His promise to work in me to will and do according to His purpose, His promise to accomplish the work He had started in me, His assurance that He has plans to prosper and not to harm me – shone like seeds of the dawn-to-come. I felt innocent of all the cares of the world – just completely trusting in Him to care for me, and to deal with all that burdened my soul. Those tiny seeds – words from Scripture – still closed, but glowing with the promise of opening and growth – delighted me, as a child can experience an unopened Christmas present, thrilling with expectation of who-knows-what.
I remembered reading that the Holy Spirit seems to come and go, moving toward us in a comforting embrace, and then away to lead us through time and trial toward eternity. The image of His flying to light others during my ‘night’ gave new meaning to the actual dawn. The sun did rise as I held this poem in mind, nurturing and protecting it as it developed. Poems do so feel like babies to me! Naturally, this particular day felt like a new birth, so completely was I revived by this time with the Spirit.
I know the phrase ‘darkest before the dawn’ is overused, but one can’t deny the reality that lies behind this association, so I’m glad to have clothed it in some fresh words.
Holy Spirit in the night,
Fire of Love still…burning …bright,
while I see no flaming sun
inward shine, O Holy One!
Brooding o’er the darkened earth,
yearning toward each new birth –
plant, before the night is spent,
seeds of dawn – fresh, innocent.
Flush with faithfulness the sky
darkest to my needy eye.
Fly across the opening dome –
lead me to my heart’s true home.
Wing to realms of dimmer glory
where stars hold the unveiled story.
You, attend the moonlit sphere.
I will wait upon You, here.
Note: Before Dawn was published in St. Austin Review Magazine: July/August 2013
All the poems are now in one volume, and I’d love for you to have a copy! Click on the cover to buy it, and click here for the recordings of all the poems.